Developers think iOS will win the battle for enterprise

Apple’s iPad and iPhone are picking up steam in enterprise lately as big business abandons RIM’s sinking BlackBerry platform. Apple’s main rival in the enterprise market is of course Google, whose Android is lagging behind iOS in corporate email and security features, but Google makes up for it with its online suite of Office replacement apps called Google Apps, something Apple doesn’t have in its offering.

Despite this advantage, developers polled by the mobile platform company Appcelerator and market research firm IDC think iOS has a significant lead over Android. Moreover, 53.2 percent of respondents think iOS will win the battle for enterprise versus 37.3 percent saying that Android will win…

This is in stark contrast compared to the third quarter of last year when developers viewed iOS and Android in a dead heat at 44 percent each.

These numbers are based on an extensive poll of more than 3,500 Appcelerator developers from around the world.

IDC’s Scott Ellison commented:

The big news is that Apple’s iOS took a dramatic lead over Google’s Android in the enterprise app space. For developers, Android appears to be evolving more towards a consumer play, which in turn provides a key competitive opening for Microsoft in the enterprise mobile app space.

Here’s another chart.

As for the reasons for such a rapid change, the survey cites Android fragmentation, Android malware scare and the iPad effect:

• increasingly high levels of Android fragmentation and consequent increasing complexity of enterprise device and software management
• frequent stories of Android malware, compared to relatively few of iOS malware, which creates concerns among enterprise IT management
• anecdotal—but increasingly consistent—reports of IT managers re-evaluating potential enterprise-wide support for Android beyond simpler implementations like email access or M2M
• the success of the Apple iPad in a number of industry verticals, which creates a halo effect for iOS devices including iPhone in the enterprise

The research firms think Android’s perceived weakness in the enterprise is a key opportunity for Microsoft, a big player in big business with its Windows and Office software and server tools.

As developers lose interest in developing enterprise-ready apps for Android, Microsoft is poised to displace Android as the #2 mobile operating system in corporations.

You can download the full report here.

Do you think Apple will be able to retain and widen its lead over Android in enterprise?