Apple’s flagship devices, the iPad and iPhone, will continue to thrive in the consumer sector as usual, but a new report indicates that iOS is poised to challenge Microsoft in the enterprise segment.
Forrester has conducted its 2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends study that reviews the work habits and technologies used among 9,766 employees worldwide. Forrester says that workers who use three or more devices at any one time and in any one place now make up 29 percent of the global workforce, up from 23 percent in 2011.
The analysis of Forrester reveals that 21% of the respondents use a tablet at least once a week for labour issues. 48% use a smartphone weekly for work issues.
1 in 4 employees wants an Apple iPad for work, and 1 in 3 wants an iPhone
Among respondents who use a tablet for work, 58 percent use an iPad, more than double the number of Android tablets and more than five times the number of Windows tablets. iOS is almost on par with Android in terms of the smartphones that workers use, while 37 percent of respondents use Android, 34 percent use iOS. The BlackBerry platform, once synonymous with mobile productivity, now has only a 15% share among respondents.
Apple’s future in the business market looks much brighter when it comes to the devices that respondents would like to have for work, both smartphones and tablets. While 16% of respondents currently use an iPhone, 33% said they would want an iPhone for their work, a percentage as large as Android and Windows Phone combined.
The tablet segment also looks quite promising for Apple. Twenty-six percent of respondents want the iPad to be their next tablet at work, more than double the percentage who want an Android device. However, the enterprise tablet sector paints even better for Windows, with 32% of respondents saying they would prefer a Windows tablet for work.
At the moment, desktops and laptops remain the most popular platforms in businesses, with 84% and 63% respectively in weekly use by respondents. In these segments, the Microsoft platform continues to be the undisputed leader, but Apple is making inroads into the laptop sector. The Forrester report notes that the MacBook is used by 9% of the global business base.
As the global PC market suffers a prolonged depression, however, many observers have seen a great opportunity for Apple’s mobile platform to disrupt the typically PC-oriented business sector.
The upward trend in the use of iOS in the enterprise is due, in part, to the tendency to use employees’ own devices for work, which use their own devices for personal and work issues. Apple has sought to accelerate this trend, working with partners to better tailor its devices for business and launching the 128GB iPad that is largely targeted at the enterprise sector.