A new study by ABI research predicts that around 56 billion smartphone applications will be downloaded this year. A major portion of these apps will be downloaded on Android devices followed by Apple and the lagging Windows and BlackBerry Platforms. These numbers are reflective of the current mobile ecosystem with Apple and Google ruling the market. ABI predicts that Android and Apple will make up 91% of total app downloads in 2013 with Android pulling down 58% of that. As Android continues to gain more traction in the consumer market is the disconnect getting smaller in the business market?
These numbers pan out great for Android when you are only looking at smartphones, but the tablet data is an entirely different story. ABI predicts that there will be 14 billion tablet applications downloaded in 2013 with 75% of those going to Apple. Android will bring up the rear with 17% and Windows with their highly anticipated Surface will most likely only garner 2%.
For the time being Apple will continue to rule the tablet department, but when it comes to mobile enterprise apps smartphones are the main focus right now. As the consumer trend continues to lean toward Android powered devices and companies are finding ways to safely and comfortably implement BYOD the gap between Android and enterprise is starting to close. It isn’t just luck that Android is on the rise and there are many more factors other than security that are leading to the shrinking disconnect.
For the first time ever there is a serious developer shift toward Android. That is not to say that mobile app developers have not been developing for Android, it is just that up until now it has been Apple first. The newest data shows that mobile app developers are starting to shift to Android first development. This will eventually lead to business following consumer trends and more business app developers taking an interest in the Android OS.
A handful of enterprises currently support business apps for Android, but many have their concerns about the platform. There have been concerns about the security and stability of the platform but all signs point to the fact that Android is and will get better. Google and their hardware providers are working diligently to make their devices and platforms reliable. As these companies do their share and Android continues to hold strong on the consumer market we will most likely see an increase in the use of the Android operating system in enterprise.
Apple still holds the top spot in enterprise mobility but their future as the forerunner is dicey at best. They fact is that the sheer number of Android powered devices combined with BYOD will eventually turn the tides. Google does have a few loose ends to tie up and it will most likely take a few years before enterprises truly trust the Android platform. Eventually IT will most likely embrace Android because it is bound to offer more management options than the highly regulated iOS.