A lack of support from Google is cited as the main reason that many businesses won't be using the Android platform, a survey from Gartner has found. The researchers found that many firms regard Android as being too complex to manage in a survey conducted on mobile device management (MDM) software vendors.
58% of respondents said that they would make use of the iOS platform in the coming year, compared to 20% using Blackberry devices and just 9% considering Android. It's thought that this is due to the "weaker management support” offered by Google, as well as the time and expense involved in building APIs for the various versions of Android.
Smartphone usage in the consumer and enterprise market has exploded in recent years and this is set to continue, meaning that demand for MDM software is growing rapidly. According to Gartner, MDM is now the "fastest-growing enterprise mobile software ever”, with revenues for this year expected to reach $500 million and as much as $1.2 billion by 2015.
Gartner say that the lack of take-up in Android devices is due to the fact that Google hasn't provided many APIs that MDM vendors can connect to, having released only 16 for Android 4.0, as opposed to more than 500 for the latest version of Blackberry.
Android has come in for a lot of criticism for its apparent lack of security in recent times, with mobile malware mainly attacking the Android platform and the incidences in the amount of malicious software discovered rising rapidly month-on-month. This is also likely to have had an impact on businesses buying Android devices.
The 20 MDM vendors who replied to the survey and chosen by Gartner had to have a good balance of mobile management tools, including security tools such as password enforcement, data deletion, remote locking, auditing and the ability to detect jailbreaks and rooting.
The mobile management software companies were also required to have a minimum of $1.5 million in MDM revenue.