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The Power of Apps

Created: 07 Jan 2013
Joe G.'s picture
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Back in 2007, Apple were enjoying almost unlimited success with sales of the already successful iPod, when they went a step further and released a smart device called the iPhone. This changed everything.

In much the same way as Ikea changed the way we viewed flat pack furniture, no longer would we be satisfied with phones that just made calls and texts and accessed a bit of WAP (anyone remember that?)

The ‘App’ as we know it was born. Would Facebook be as hugely popular as it is now were it not for the excellent mobile app? The ability to check in, to update your status on the move, and to share photos when out and about? Possibly, but nowhere near as prominent and accessible as it is now.

And accessibility is the point I am making. Back in 2007 and 2008, who would’ve thought that Apple, market leaders and innovators, could have gained and then lost so much market share to a competitor in the very space it invented?

I am, of course, talking about Android. Google’s brainchild had a slow start and little attention when compared to the bright lights and pizazz of the iPhone, but through some excellent handsets from the likes of HTC and Samsung, slowly and surely people started paying attention.

When you think about the global downturn that kicked in around 2008, it made sense that people who wanted an iPhone but couldn’t afford one, would look at cheaper alternatives. Provided those alternatives also allowed them to access Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, take photos and play music, then the public turned out to be less fussy then Apple hoped (and in a lot of cases, less loyal). The App allowed this to happen.

Maybe Apple thought that the time and money people had invested in their iTunes libraries would stop them from deserting, and I’m sure it has, to some degree. But not for all. Indeed, figures released at the end of last year by IDC stated that Android is on 75% of the world’s smartphones, with iOS on just 15%

This was an interesting consumer shift, and really brought home to me the power of consumer choice, and the fact that if they can get a similar user experience on two different devices and more importantly, use the same apps- would they choose the more expensive one?

Android tablets are now gaining in popularity in the same way when compared to the iPad, although the uptake has been slower. The iPad has established itself very well in the corporate world, and Apple have been very smart with access to MDM APIs, allowing corporates to control and manage those devices with ease.

With BYOD growing in popularity and businesses under internal and external pressure to allow BYOD, it makes sense that that devices you are going to end up seeing at work will be Android. However, Android security brings a new set of challenges and headaches for IT Security, plus they will need to focus on locking down corporate apps and data (Mobile Application Management) rather than the device itself (Mobile Device Management)

We may be able to help with that…