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The enterprise mobility market is Apple's to lose, according to a new report from Citrix. And judging by the surging popularity of Android in some parts of the world, handset and tablet makers that pump out products based on Google's mobile operating system (OS) are tipping the scales in their favor.
Apple commands the market in mobile devices that are used in business. According to the "Citrix Enterprise Mobility Cloud Report" (PDF), for the fourth quarter of 2012, 58 percent of the smartphones and tablets registered with the company's cloud-based mobile device management platform sport Apple's logo.
Android takes second place with 35 percent. Windows is a distant third with just seven percent.
While Apple enjoys a comfortable lead, there are signs that Android is quickly catching up in some parts of the world. Android is hot on Apple's trail in Europe, Middle East and Africa [EMEA], claiming 36 percent of the market compared to Apple's 43 percent share.
In a company blog post, Jamie Barnett, senior director of marketing for Citrix, wrote, "Android gained eleven percentage points in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in a quarter. Anecdotally, we know several organizations there that deployed big Android-based mobile line-of-business initiatives last quarter, but is there a bigger trend?"
Android enjoys particularly strong adoption in industries like communications services, transportation and non-profits. Healthcare is also a popular vertical for Google's OS, much to Citrix's surprise since many of its customers are smitten by iOS.
Barnett reported that "85% of deployed devices in our cloud in healthcare were Android. But healthcare organizations we talk to are standardizing on iOS, so it doesn't add up!"
It turns out that healthcare customers with on-premise deployments prefer Apple. However, cloud-enabled mobile access adds an unexpected wrinkle.
"The cloud healthcare companies are really mobile themselves – usually home healthcare organizations like traveling nurses and therapists and hospice care workers who deliver end of life care to patients in their homes. It makes sense that these organizations would be big users of the cloud given the highly distributed nature of the business and the fact that there are some common HIPAA-compliant mobile apps that have been developed for the Android platform," offered Barnett.
Citrix's report also indicates that organizations are starting to take mobile device management (MDM) seriously. Passcodes (63 percent) and GPS (39 percent) were among the top policy enforcement use cases. Device and app restrictions and WiFi followed with 32 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Businesses are shooting down Angry Birds. The popular time-waster was among the most blacklisted apps alongside Facebook, Dropbox and YouTube. Generally, workplaces are more welcoming of apps like Evernote, NitroDesk Touchdown, Chrome and Adobe Reader.
Leave it Microsoft to have one foot in both worlds. The company's Skype app is among both the most commonly blacklisted and whitelisted apps among organizations that use Citrix's cloud solution.