Google’s Android Fails Among Businesses Where Apple Leads

Google Inc.’s Android software for mobile devices has opened up a wide lead in market share, yet it hasn’t made the same inroads with a lucrative niche: businesspeople.

Only 22 percent of information workers say they want a smartphone based on Google’s software on the job, according to a study by Forrester Research Inc., reported on its Tech Blog. That’s less than one-third compared with Android’s broader market share, pegged at 68 percent for this year, according to researcher IDC.

More office employees -- 33 percent of those surveyed --say they’ll use iPhones for work. Among the 9,766 information workers who took part in the poll, 10 percent will adopt Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone-based devices and 7 percent say they’ll select Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry.

Why the disparity? Android has done very well with consumers, particularly more price-sensitive ones, Gillett said. Businesspeople can pay Apple’s prices for a premium product, and millions of them already own iPhones and other Apple products and aren’t likely to walk away from their investment, he said.

Those polled may have written off Android because their companies don’t support it beyond e-mail access. That’s because many chief information officers don’t like the fact that almost every model of Android phone uses a slightly different version of the software, which means more testing, security updates and support costs, according to Frank Gillett, a Forrester analyst.

Tablet Share

“CIOs are worried that their employees will end up with malware that they’re not likely to get with iOS,” Gillett said. “Google is taking the approach of reacting to problems, while Microsoft and Apple are being more proactive.”

In tablets, Android has an even smaller share among the business crowd. Apple is again at the top with 26 percent in Forrester’s survey, while tablets based on Windows 8 come in second at 20 percent. Android’s share of tablet preference among information workers is 11 percent, while the BlackBerry PlayBook is 1 percent.

Android’s poor showing is not for lack of trying. Dozens of Android tablets have come to market since the iPad was introduced in 2010. Even more notable is how poorly Android scored relative to Microsoft, which has been a no-show in the tablet market and hadn’t even begun selling its Surface tablet until October.

Google rose less than 1 percent to $721.15 at 2:29 in New York, and were up 12 percent this year through yesterday.

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