iPad's explosive growth in the enterprise

Q4 report shows Apple tablet revolutionizing enterprise mobility landscape

A new report from Good Technology shows that enterprises are activating Apple's iPad tablet at a blazing pace. Good, which provides mobile-management software for enterprises, says that the iPad accounted for 22 percent of its activations in the fourth quarter of 2010. Keep in mind that 1) the iPad didn't go on the market until April of last year, and 2) in terms of activations, it's competing with smartphones such as Apple's popular iPhone and devices powered by Google's Android mobile OS. (Also see: Yahoo sneaks in some more layoffs ahead of earnings) In a statement accompanying the report, John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good, said, "If 2010 was all about the consumerization of enterprise, 2011 will be the year of the tablet. The iPad came out of nowhere to define this new category, and already we are seeing very compelling Android tablets entering the space, with more on the horizon." One caveat: Good, which claims thousands of enterprise clients in numerous industries (including government), does not support Research in Motion's BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7, something to keep in mind when interpreting some of the data below. Regardless, the fact that the iPad in Q4 comprised nearly one in four activations by Good's customers at a time when the popularity of the iPhone and Android-powered devices are still increasing is amazing. The financial services sector in particular rapidly adopted the iPad in Q4, with activations increasing each month from September through December. In the smartphone category, 58 percent of activations were for iPhones (mostly the iPhone 4) and 42 percent for Android devices. The Motorola Droid X and Droid 2 were the most-activated Android devices. Other Q4 data points from Good: * iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) comprised more than 65 percent of net new activations * iPad's share of overall net activations grew to 22 percent from 14 percent in Q3 * Net new activations of Android devices stayed steady at around 30 percent * Windows Mobile devices fell from the top 10 most-activated devices * Symbian devices also dropped out of the top 10 I'm not quite sure how Good can say Windows and Symbian devices fell out of the top 10 when they don't offer support for them, but I have a question in to them and will provide an update. It's irrelevant to the larger point, though, which is that the iPad is taking the enterprise by storm. Update: Here's a reply from Good about Windows and Symbian: We don't support WP7, but we do support both Symbian and Window Mobile. Windows Mobile is low because it's a sunsetting platform (form MSFTs perspective) and Symbian is low because of our concentration of users which is in the US where Symbian is under represented.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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