Picking Up Where BlackBerry Left Off
HTC and IBM have announced a new partnership aimed directly at the enterprise sector by taking care of the major issue that has stopped Android from being a key player for IT administrators. HTC will now ship their phones and tablets with an IBM software suite that first and foremost addresses the security concerns that have kept businesses from adopting the platform.
The decline of RIM and the BlackBerry Platform has left a major opening for new products to be adopted for business use, and as it stands now iOS is the new platform of choice. Over 90% of people who own an iPad state they use it for business and many businesses are purchasing iPads for their workers to increase mobile productivity. The enterprise market is large and very loyal, staying with their platform choices for multiple product generations.
Although Android has enjoyed exponential growth since its introduction, and with Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 made the transition into more than amazing utility but into a thing of beauty there are still a few key markets Google has yet to take on. I would like to see Google make a concerted effort to make Android more IT friendly with their own suite of apps as IBM and HTC have done. The openness of the Android platform is one of its key selling points to many consumers, but it is that very openness that has alienated the business world. If HTC with the trusted business expertise and software from IBM can make a sizable entry, it should draw the attention needed from Google.
HTC is the second largest Android OEM behind Samsung, but saw a dip in numbers during the fourth quarter. With their profits already being tapped into by an arrangement with Microsoft that receives $5 from every Android device that HTC sells, the business sector is something HTC needs to attack aggressively. As of now they are a virtually unnoticed in the tablet scene and would be well served to offer businesses a tablet that competes favorably with the iPad, at an equal price, and with the benefit of the IBM software suite.
While the new arrangement is by no means an easy in, HTC is taking a big step in the right direction to opening their customer base. If you were an IT executive what would it take for you to change your team to HTC?