At the time, Blackberry devices were most commonly used for corporate use -- they supported email, light Web browsing, and had a number of security options. Barack Obama even fought to keep his Blackberry, finally getting it authorized in part based on its robust security features.
Today, iOS answers those enterprise needs and a few more that the Blackberry and even Android-compatible devices do not. After all, business users are looking for a lot more than simple email. They want access to social networks, they want to be able to read and participate in different online discussions, they want to be able to use custom applications created for their workplace, and they want to access enterprise-level applications like SAP Crystal Reports and Salesforce.com.
No other existing mobile platform, including Android, can accommodate everything iOS can.
For business owners, iOS delivers:
* Email: iOS supports Microsoft Exchange accounts, and also supports ActiveSync, which allows contacts, calendars, and email hosted on existing enterprise Exchange servers to be pushed to any iOS devices.
* Documents: Email attachments with Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or Word documents can be easily viewed without having to download any additional software. Apple's iWork suite of apps support document editing, which also can be exported into Microsoft formats.
And from an IT perspective, the following make iOS compelling:
* Security: iOS apps are restricted from accessing data from other apps, which guards against malicious third-party apps accessing sensitive corporate data. Devices can also be remotely locked (or even wiped) if lost or stolen using mobile device management. Additional security measures allow the management of devices (via over-the-air policy enforcement), the network (via SSL/TLS), local data (via built-in hardware encryption using AES 256-bit encoding as well as device Data Protection which uses the device's passcode to create a secure encryption key), and platform security, which "sandboxes" each application so data cannot be transferred or accessed by the wrong application. (In fact, iOS security is so robust, that the government of Australia has approved it for use to handle secret information up to "Protected Level.")
* Exchange ActiveSync, LDAP and CardDAV: Corporate directory information can be accessed through the iOS contacts app through Exchange ActiveSync as well as open-source LDAP- and CardDAV-enabled accounts. In fact, with access to the IMAP mail protocol, LDAP directory services, CalDAV calendaring and CardDAV contacts protocols, iOS can be used to integrate with any standards-based mail and calendar environment (yes, even Lotus Notes).
* VPN/SSL VPN: iOS supports standard VPN protocols, which allows employees to securely access corporate intranets while on the road or away from the office. Depending on what is implemented internally, enterprise users can access their private corporate networks using IPSec, SSL VPN, or WPA2 Enterprise Wi-Fi.
* Product Lifecycle: iOS updates have historically supported current devices as well as those introduced in the last two to three years, and tend to be backwards compatible, giving a greater lifespan to older hardware that is still deployed in the field. This is the real nail-in-the-coffin for Android, as Android devices are at most "compatible" with each other, and even different devices with the same version of the OS might still perform differently -- or cause applications to crash altogether.
* Remote Configuration: iOS devices can be remotely configured to handle changes in mail settings, WiFi settings (both internal and public), parental controls, application installs (both from the company and from the App Store), and manage other enterprise access restrictions (such as disabling app installations, or blocking applications such as Youtube or Facebook). Remote deployment of in-house apps is also supported. In contrast, each type of Android device would need to be configured and supported internally -- and with the different vendors (HTC, LG, Samsung, etc.) as well as mobile providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.), there is too large a universe of SKUs to evaluate and support.
With the amount of iOS products available in the marketplace (and in the enterprise, whether officially sanctioned or not) it makes sense for IT to embrace iOS and firmly integrate it into their enterprises' needs. The Android OS is too fragmented, continually evolving (leaving behind devices from the previous year), potentially insecure, and simply not stable enough to be allowed into an enterprise.
MEDL Mobile Inc., an early leader in the emerging mobile applications software market, is engaged in the monetization of mobile apps through four primary revenue generating platforms: (i) development of customized apps for third parties to monetize their particular intellectual property, persona or brand, (ii) incubation of apps in partnership with third parties and from a library of more than 85,000 original apps concept submissions, (iii) sale of advertising and sponsorship opportunities directly to brands and (iv) acquisition of apps from other developers and use of a proprietary application programming interface, or API, to make Apps recommendations for our user base.