Windows Phone could gain at iOS’ expense in Enterprise says ABI Research

ABI Research have published a report on smartphones  in the enterprise titled  "iOS 7 and Windows Phone 8 for Enterprise."

In the report they note the consumerization of IT and the BYOD market has forced smartphone OEMs to incorporate security and advanced enterprise features into mobile device hardware and software, and that Apple has been slow to respond.

Senior analyst Jason McNicol comments, "There was a lot of excitement with the release of iOS 7, especially in the enterprise where Apple included features enterprises were longing for. Some of those features, however, were not terribly innovative when compared to the services offered by the EMM/MDM market, while other enhancements have relatively limited functionality. Despite the positive market buzz, iOS7 enterprise features are unlikely to increase its enterprise presence. Plenty of market opportunity remains, especially for a company like Microsoft."

While the iPhone has a strong advantage over Windows Phone when it comes to the availability of enterprise software Windows Phone interoperates better with the existing Microsoft enterprise stack, offers much of the security advantages of iOS while still offering businesses greater flexibility in handset selection and price point.

ABI Research estimates Apple iPhone subscribers will maintain 18% market penetration for the foreseeable future, whereas Microsoft should see market penetration increase to 6% by 2018.

In the Enterprise market however they see greater growth potential.

"When looking at adoption trends in specific regions, we see areas where Windows Phone stands to gain significantly. For example, Windows Phone consumer adoption has been very strong in Europe. As demonstrated by the Apple and Android platforms, a growing base of consumers is a key driver for expansion into the enterprise," McNicol noted.

Practice Director Dan Shey added, "Surprisingly, there are quite a few similarities between Apple and Microsoft allowing for a good comparison of the two platforms. While Apple has a significant lead over Microsoft, Microsoft is learning from Apple. If Microsoft keeps its promises for enterprise features expansion, we expect it to gain market share among mobile business customers."