Apple Seeks to Dominate the Corporate Smartphone Market
It seems as if Apple feels now is the right time to attempt a knockout blow to faltering corporate smartphone champ, RIM and their Blackberry lineup. Recent developments regarding the handling of large scale distribution and the handling of privately created apps have recently emerged that specifically target the needs of large organizations that may give Apple the opportunity to increase market share in large companies at the expense of RIM.
The first bit of news is the newly announced volume purchasing program for Apple's public iTunes store. This allows large companies to purchase paid apps in one single shot. It beats the heck out of having to pay for dozen's, hundreds or even thousands of individual app purchases. In addition, it looks like the public iTunes store may also begin selling custom-made B2B apps that are built for specific enterprise in-house functions. There aren't many details on the distribution process of private apps through iTunes but I'm assuming that employees will be able to be placed in a "company zone" within iTunes so they can access and download the B2B software.
While allowing third-party B2B software developers to distribute software via iTunes may work well for some companies, many organizations want complete control over their company phones and privately made applications. Nothing short of a private app store will work for this situation and it has become a must-have in corporate environments that wish to have a tight control on the apps they release.
But Apple is realizing that large businesses indeed require the need to fully manage and distribute private software to a large number of iOS devices. That is why Apple came with the iPhone in Business: Over-the-Air Enrollment and Configuration back in late 2009.Continued on the next page