iPhone stays on top for enterprises, according to Good

Good Technology expects Android to become the most popular smartphone platform for its customers by year end

The availability of the iPhone on Verizon and AT&T's discount on the iPhone 3GS kept Android at bay in the enterprise, at least for customers of Good Technology.

Good offers software for securing and managing mobile phones and now tablets in the enterprise. On Friday, it released data it collected about its customers' phone and tablet activations during the first quarter. Good has "thousands" of corporate customers, including 40 of the Fortune 100, so the report offers a snapshot of phone and tablet preferences in the enterprise.

Toward the end of the fourth quarter, Good saw Android start to catch up to iPhone in terms of numbers of activations at Good customers, said John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy for Good. But the iPhone widened the gap again in the first quarter, due to the availability of the Verizon model and the discounted 3GS from AT&T, he said.

Android declined in the first quarter to just over 30 percent of all net new activations, compared to 35 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, Good said. However, it represented 38 percent of all smartphone activations, excluding tablets, Good found.

Devices running iOS, including both iPad models and all iPhone models, were just under 70 percent of new activations for Good customers, the company found. Among smartphones, 62 percent of activations were iPhones.

Still, Good expects that once the benefit of the new Verizon iPhone and the discounted 3GS pricing wears off, Android will overtake iOS in terms of number of new smartphone activations by its customers by the end of the year.

Good does not manage BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 or WebOS devices, so those phones don't appear in its report.

Good found that tablets continue to be popular among its enterprise customers. Tablet activations were around 20 percent of all activations, which includes tablets and smartphones.

Android tablets are barely registering on Good's report, although they show up for the first time, with just over 1 percent of all activations in March. Almost all of those devices were the Motorola Xoom, which launched late in the quarter.

Good is finding that tablets are replacing laptops in some industries, like health care, but largely they are being used as an additional device, Herrema said.

When Good first started releasing this kind of report last year, it found that some of its customers were still buying Windows Mobile and Symbian phones. "Now what we're seeing is that they've dropped out of this report completely," he said.

Microsoft has since released its new Windows Phone 7 operating system and Nokia, the primary developer of Symbian phones, announced earlier this year that it plans to start using Windows Phone 7 instead of Symbian.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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