IPhone Still Rules SMBs, but Apple Needs to Keep an Eye on Samsung

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Apple devices accounted for three quarters (76%) of all mobile device activations on Intermedia's desktop sync network since January 2013.

Intermedia's customers use its service to synchronize their mobile devices with their desktop computers.

With over 190,000 activations, Apple accounted for six out of every eight mobile devices activated by Intermedia's SMB customers, despite other studies showing Android's overall lead in market share.

Intermedia's annual report also finds that Samsung has pulled ahead of the competition in the past two years to establish itself as the No. 2 device manufacturer among Intermedia's SMB customers -- surpassing activations of all other Android manufacturers, as well as Windows and BlackBerry mobile devices.

"Small and medium-sized businesses are choosing Apple for mobile delivery of their cloud IT services at an incredible rate," said Michael Gold, president of Intermedia. "Many customers already leverage Intermedia services on smartphones and tablets as the primary front-end for running their business. Samsung and Apple will compete intensely for these business users by driving down prices, extending functionality, and addressing SMB needs like security. This means the ultimate winner will be businesses themselves."

Additional trends:

  • Activation spikes are not tied to holiday sales. BYOD trends suggest that holiday gift giving would have a large impact on mobile device activations. However, Intermedia's report found a far stronger correlation of activation spikes with vendor release cycles, such as Apple's spring and fall iPhone/iPad/iOS release cycle.
  • Businesses have ignored the lower-cost iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5s was activated at nearly five times the rate of the 5c in October 2013, the first full month since Apple debuted both phones.
  • Even older iPhone models saw more activations than the 5c. In the same October period, iPhone 5, 4s and 4 models were all activated more than the iPhone 5c.
  • Keep an eye on Microsoft, too. While Windows smartphone and tablet activations made up only 1 percent of activations in the first ten months of 2013, they grew by roughly 93 percent over that period. Microsoft's planned purchase of Nokia, along with their aggressive mobile agenda, could make them a viable threat to Samsung and even Apple in the medium term.
  • The SMB mobile market is still expanding. Aggregate figures show that mobile device activations are rising across all manufacturers -- as opposed to vendors trading share-of-activations -- implying that smartphones and tablets have yet to reach full saturation in the SMB market.

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Tags: intermedia  apple iphone  samsung 

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