Goodbye Blackberry Way?*

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iPass tells us that a recent survey (n = 2,300) indicated that the iPhone now has 45% marketshare in the enterprise, whereas use of the Blackberry is down (slightly) to 35%. While Blackberry has traditionally been the weapon of choice for the security-conscious corporate IT administrator, Apple has clearly persuaded some enterprises that it is a contender in the business security stakes.

However, a dramatically different picture is presented in another iPass graph showing current smartphone usage in organizations, with iPhone way out in the lead with 18.0%, followed by Android at 11.2%. Don’t snigger: Ovum predicts that Android will eat more of Blackberry’s lunch than the iPhone. Be that as it may, at 2.3%, Blackberry trails well behind in fourth place (behind Windows Mobile with 3/6%).

Apparently 42% of employees are using personal smartphones for work use, and iPass CEO Evan Kaplan suggests that this is because enterprises are transferring mobile device liability to the individual. I can see where that comes from, but transferring liability is not the same as transferring risk, and allocating blame for a breach doesn’t usually mitigate more than a fraction of its impact. You may be particularly concerned if you’ve been following the recent upsurges in Android malware, though the alarming 472% increase flagged by Juniper is somewhat over-dramatized by its ambiguous presentation as a percentage increase. (It rather reminds me of those tests that say that product X is 20% better than product Y because product Y didn’t detect one of its five test samples: and I do dislike articles that misuse the phrase exponential growth.)

Still, while I'm not here to score points on behalf of iPhone or Android, the Juniper article does make a valid point about the security disadvantages of a laissez-faire app distribution model (Android Market) as opposed to a pre-screened apps (App Store), the occasional hiccough notwithstanding. Especially if you consider the number of people whose AV protection on their Android is probably less effective than they think.


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