Android Isn’t Popular Yet With IT Managers

Lifehacker readers love Android, and current market share figures suggest it will soon be the biggest-selling smartphone platform globally. However, when it comes to choosing workplace phones, it still runs a distant third. What’s going on?Picture by Mike Babcock

Australia is running slightly behind the US trend of Android phones being the top seller. Local market research firm Telsyte predicts that Apple will account for 42% of the local mobile phone market this year, followed by Android on 18% and BlackBerry on 6%. However, that same enthusiasm isn’t seen when it comes to businesses purchasing phones for their staff.

In that space, according to Telsyte, Apple remains the dominant player, accounting for 44% of the market. Its main rival is BlackBerry, which covers 35%. HTC, the top-ranked Android player, is a distant third with 7%. In larger firms, the preference for BlackBerry is even more marked, accounting for 52% of purchases (with Apple accounting for just 25% and Android virtually invisible.)

The difference has more to do with the relatively slow speed with which most businesses adopt new technology than with an antipathy towards Android itself. Telsyte’s research suggests that iPhone implementations are often driven by user demand rather than a perceived good fit with business requirements. The ‘BYO’ approach is becoming increasingly common, despite IT concerns over management and security, and the uptake of Apple in businesses reflects its dominance in the consumer market. (The continued popularity of BlackBerry in business reflects its well-developed enterprise management and security options.)

As Android grows in popularity, it seems likely that some companies will adopt a similar approach and allow Android devices. Just don’t expect it to happen overnight, and don’t assume that every business will make the switch.

Evolve is a weekly column at Lifehacker looking at trends and technologies IT workers need to know about to stay employed and improve their careers.

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