Microsoft Windows Phone 8 enterprise smartphones to gain as Apple iOS 7 slips

Enterprise smartphones on the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system (OS) platform are likely to see more demand than Apple iOS 7.

According to ABI Research’s report called iOS 7 and Windows Phone 8 for Enterprise, iOS 7 software update will impact enterprise adoption of iPhones.

ABI Research forecast says Apple iPhone subscribers will maintain 18 percent market penetration for the foreseeable future, whereas Microsoft should see market penetration increase to 6 percent by 2018.

iOS 7 features for enterprises were not innovative when compared to the services offered by the EMM/MDM market, while other enhancements have relatively limited functionality. ( Apple iOS 7 will be a delight for enterprise )

Despite the positive market buzz, iOS7 enterprise features are unlikely to increase its enterprise presence. New enterprise features in the iOS 7 release include: advanced VPP control, open-in management, managed applications, single sign-on capability, per app VPN, and enhanced EMM/MDM vendor functionality.

The report says there is plenty of market opportunity remains, especially for a company like Microsoft. Current and future iterations of Windows Phone can accelerate business adoption of Microsoft’s mobility platform.

The ABI Research report does not talk about Google Android smartphone platform that has created vast opportunities for new vendors to get into the smartphone space and, in turn, has produced new competitive pressures at the top of the market in the third quarter of 2013.

Microsoft Windows Phone 8 vs Apple iOS 7

According to IDC, Android market share increased to 81 percent in Q3 2013 from 74.9 percent in Q3 2012. Apple iOS market share decreased to 12.9 percent from 14.4 percent. Windows Phones increased its OS market share to 3.6 percent from 2 percent. BlackBerry OS market share dipped to 1.7 percent from 4.5 percent.

Windows Phone consumer adoption has been very strong in Europe. A growing base of consumers is a key driver for expansion into the enterprise, said ABI Research.

Samsung shipped 81.2 million smartphones against Apple’s 33.8 million smartphones in the third quarter. Nokia, which uses Windows 8 OS, does not feature in top 5 smartphone list. But Nokia under Microsoft and other smartphones on the Windows 8 OS platform are expected to do well in future.

Earlier, IDC said Samsung, which uses Google Android OS, maintained its leadership position in Q3, shipping more units than the next four vendors combined. Samsung’s flagship models received the lion’s share of attention during Q3, with more carriers adding the Galaxy S4, continued demand for the Galaxy S III, and the introduction of the Galaxy Note 3.

According to IDC, Apple’s volumes speak to the early success of the iPhones 5S and 5C, and the softening demand of older devices prior to the new models launching. The iPhone 5S lived up to the hype of the gold case and the fingerprint sensor, and the iPhone 5C with an array of colors. At the same time, limited usability on the fingerprint sensor and higher-than-expected pricing on the iPhone 5C drew mixed reactions. Still, this did not prevent Apple from enjoying a record 9 million units shipped in their debut.

“Beyond Samsung and Apple at the top of the rankings is a tight race of vendors trying to break out from the pack,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team, recently. In Q3, Chinese vendors Huawei and Lenovo moved past LG, and not far behind are two more Chinese companies, Coolpad and ZTE.

There are quite a few similarities between Apple and Microsoft allowing for a good comparison of the two platforms. While Apple has a significant lead over Microsoft, Microsoft is learning from Apple.

“If Microsoft keeps its promises for enterprise features expansion, we expect it to gain market share among mobile business customers,” said ABI Research Senior analyst Jason McNicol.

Baburajan K
[email protected]

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