Re: Absolutely agree
"It appears that in between appealing to executives and being more secure than Android, Apple got a good chunk of the corporate market without trying too hard."
I disagree so some extent. Apple haven't done a single thing to specifically get the corporate market, and I don't think they give a damn about it either. They never bothered doing anything in their computers to help businesses either, not really.
They aim their products at the consumer market, which is where the big money is. Corporate users are welcome to buy of course...
What I mean is that there's nothing in Apple products that helps corporate admins fit them nicely into a (often necessarily) controlled corporate IT environment. OS-X can do domain authentication and browse file shares, but that's it. The MDM solutions that exist for iOS are terrible kludges really, sticking plasters applied on top of an unhelpful OS. It doesn't even do VPNs properly.
With little real support for business use in both iOS and Android, BYOD now seems to have become:
"Your work mobile is an iPhone we've lent you that's locked down to the point where it's not worth stealing it":
This suits Apple very well. Apple get to sell 2 phones, not one, and they still don't have to do anything technological to support that. But us drones have to carry 2 phones.
Android is the same but worse by the way - it doesn't do a very good job of talking to Exchange servers, and so the MDM solutions for it are quite often even kludgier. Yes I know, Exchange servers, domains, it's all so much old bollocks, but not every company (especially outside the USA) is prepared to jump into the Google, Apple or MS clouds
The only mobile company that did understand the needs of business and BYOD was BlackBerry, and built a mobile OS specifically to accomodate that - BB10, and particularly it's Balance feature and the 2 phone numbers in one device party trick.
This is still the most elegant solution to the BYOD problem. It's far superior to sticking a MDM plaster on top of a consumer focused mobile OS. It's the only thing out there that truly makes it plausible for an employee to have one single phone for both work and personal use, with the right level of control for both parties and strong separation of the business and personal domains, and still be easy and pleasurable to use. It definitely doesn't feel like something "added on", it's right at the core of the whole OS, mail client, calendar, apps store, the lot.
Unfortunately, BlackBerry, like a lot of other companies, didn't understand the art of doing business.
Balance is really good, but it also takes a lot of getting your head round. By the time it came out it was already too late, and very few people had the motivation to go look at clever ways of solving the BOYD problem.
If Apple cared about chasing the corporate market they'd have bought up BlackBerry just to get their hands on Balance and incorporated the idea into iOS. They haven't.
Forget the Business Market, it's Irrelevant
Apple, and to some extent Google with Android, taught the world that chasing fat corporate sales was a pointless myth. The corporate market is too small to bother with. The consumer market, that's the thing.
Having learned that lesson, Microsoft went off and did Window 8. Whoopsie!
The PC is really a business tool. It became cheap enough for consumers to buy it. Turns out consumers didn't really want PCs, they wanted mobiles and tablets. Nowadays one looks at the PC market and wonders whether one will still be able to buy an affordable workstation for one's business needs in 5, 10 years time.
I'm no fan of Apple or Jobs, but Jobs did get one thing right. It's the software that matters. As soon as electronics had advanced to the point where a battery powered handheld could just about support an advanced graphical user interface it was inevitable that someone somewhere would do one. Jobs saw that, jumped early (the first iPhone models were absolute bollocks really), cleaned up.
For the rest of the industry the warning signs were there. The Apple Newton may have been poor, but there was the seeds of something there.
Nokia are perhaps the worst offender. They acquried Psion's OS and software stack - the Psion 5mx was a true masterpiece that's yet to be equalled - and threw the opportunity away. Nokia had more than the seeds of an idea, they had something that actually worked. Nokia in effect had a 10 year head start on Apple, and cocked it up. But then again, Nokia was run by hardware guys.
It's looking dodgy. Their designers are now so up their own arses that one seriously wonders whether they can recover. They need to stop chasing "form" and get back to designing things that people will actually lust after. Can't plug an iPhone 7 into a Macbook, even for charging? Job's would have had a fit at the idea.
Weirdly, Microsoft are making a ton of cash on Apples turf - premium laptops. Surface notebooks sell veeery well. Apple need to move fast to make sure that there's no possibility of a resurgency in the mobile space for Microsoft. Apple have a lot of laurels these days, difficult not to rest on them
Apple's product line up is, well, boring and disjointed, and in some ways very very annoying. Whereas MS is possibly be about to launch a good mobile to go along with good laptops. If only a few key mobile apps make it to Surface phone, people might just start wondering whether they need an iPhone and its frailties at all.