That was then and this is now and guess what funny thing happened on the way to the future? Apple’s iPhone became the de facto standard for business and enterprise use. Why? What happened?
21st Century Buzzword: BYOD
For years after the iPhone was launched in 2007 critics assailed Apple’s popular smartphone while customers–including business employees– gobbled them up by the tens of millions.
Step by step, year after year, Apple included improved security and connectivity in iOS to match the ease of use and plethora of apps available for the iPhone.
That combination helped to spur the BYOD movement– businesses and enterprise organizations which allowed employees to ‘bring your own device’ and IT would support it.
While BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and others struggled to maintain relevance is a smartphone world dominated by iOS and Android, Apple continued to improve security.
Today, the standard bearers of just a few years ago are lost in a sea of iPhones and iPads as business and enterprise adopted Apple’s built-in security options, walled-garden approach to app deployment, as well as the wide variety of applications that smartphone users actually used.
Enter iOS 7, the iPhone 5S– perhaps Apple’s biggest one-two punch to secure dominance in the enterprise workplace. Who does it better? BlackBerry appears to be on a death walk to oblivion, while Microsoft’s Windows Phone has failed to make an imprint.
What of the ubiquitous Android smartphones? While Google’s free OS outnumbers all other players in total, the levels of security required by enterprise IT departments pales in significance to iOS.
The iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint sensor is yet another way to add a layer of security (over the four digit passcode), bundled tightly with Activation Lock (a super duper multi-level security feature which requires both Apple ID and password to disable Find My iPhone and gain entry).
Why has the iPhone become so popular in business and enterprise usage? The reasons are basic an many. Ease of use. Wide variety of applications, connectivity, and security layers. Think per app VPN, where specific apps can be assigned to a company’s VPN (virtual private network). Think widespread updates to the latest iOS versions (iOS 6 adoption exceeded 95-percent of devices, and iOS 7 is rapidly approaching 60-percent of iOS devices in a matter of weeks).
Barrier to entry, anyone? Apple provides Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps free with each new iPhone, giving business users more tools they need for mobile work, further reducing the need for Microsoft Office on anything except the desktop or notebook (itself used increasingly less).
With little fanfare but through steady improvements Apple’s iOS has embedded itself as the de facto standard for mobile devices in businesses and enterprises.