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Despite Android's Rise, the iPad Remains the Undisputed Top Tablet Among Business Users


Apple's devices have garnered an amazing 93.2% of all enterprise tablet activations in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) have been locked in an increasingly fierce battle for supremacy of the global smartphone market. Once the upstart, Google's Android has made giant strides in recent years, and is now the world's top mobile OS.

In the enterprise arena, however, Apple still dominates all its rivals. According to a new report from security and mobile collaboration provider Good Technology, iPhones and iPads accounted for a stunning 77% of all activation among enterprises in the fourth quarter of 2012, while Android devices represented only 22% of activation.

iOS devices nabbed eight of the top 10 spots on the list of most popular enterprise devices, according to the survey of more than 4,000 of Good Technology's customers, including half of the Fortune 100 companies. Only the Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) Galaxy S3 and the Droid Razr spoiled the Apple parade, coming in at sixth and tenth place respectively.
Top 10 mobile devices activated in the enterprise in Q4 2012. Source: Good Technology

Overall, iOS activation among businesses jumped 8.5% year-on-year, while Android activations dipped 6.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The iPhone 5 was by far the most popular device, representing 32% of all activations in the quarter.

Apple's domination of the enterprise world is even greater when accounting only for tablets. The Cupertino, California-based company represented a whopping 93.2% of all enterprise tablet activations in the fourth quarter.

"The iPad works for the manager, who's out on the field or who goes to different clients – someone who is actually out of the office. Owing to its small size and convenient form, it's a perfect enterprise productivity tool," explained Vishal Jain, a mobile services analyst at research and analytics firm 451 Research on why Apple tablets were so popular among business customers, to Minyanville last year.

Though Google's enterprise tablet share might be marginal for now, the company should be encouraged by its growth momentum: Over the course of 2012, Android tablets improved to 6.8% of all enterprise tablet activations from 2.7%, notes Good Technology in its report.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the favorite Android tablet of enterprise customers, followed by the Motorola Droid Xyboard, the Samsung Galaxy Note, the Asus (PINK:AKCPF) Transformer, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire, and the Motorola Xoom.

As for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant still has a long way to go to catch up with Apple and Google. A mere 0.5% of enterprise activations in the fourth quarter went to Windows phones or tablets. Microsoft will be hoping to improve that figure this year with its Window 8 devices, especially the PC/tablet hybrid Surface Pro.

(See also: Blow to BlackBerry as Pentagon Opens Up Network for Apple and Google and Can Research In Motion Stop the Apple and Google Onslaught in the Enterprise Arena?)

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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