When 2010 began, the iPad was nothing but a collection of rumors and speculation. According to data from Good Technology, though, Apple's tablet managed to go from non-existent to 22 percent of the mobile platform market--at least as evidenced from the Good Technology customer base.
Fueled by the popularity of the iPad, iOS was by far the most-activated mobile platform among Good's customers during the fourth quarter of 2010. For 2010 as a whole, iOS had roughly double the number of activations as Android.
"If 2010 was all about the consumerization of enterprise, 2011 will be the year of the tablet," said John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good Technology. "The iPad came out of nowhere to define this new category, and already we are seeing very compelling Android tablets entering the space, with more on the horizon."
Android made up only about 30 percent of the mobile platform activations overall. But, if you strip out tablets--since Android didn't have a viable tablet to challenge the iPad at all until the end of the year, and it's still up for debate how much of an iPad competitor the Samsung Galaxy Tab is--Android jumps to 40 percent of the smartphone activations.
What is perhaps more interesting than the success of the iPad, or the surge that the iPad seems to have provided in driving adoption of iOS, is the breakdown Good provides of iPad adoption by industry. Wholesale / Retail, Government / Public Sector, and High Tech all show only slight increases over the first couple months of the fourth quarter, followed by slight drops in December--probably a reflection of the holidays and the fact that most companies are shut down for some period of time and many workers take vacation during that time.
The Good Technology stats show adoption of the iPad in the Financial Services to be far higher than any other sector, and rising steadily throughout the quarter. Healthcare began the quarter as the leading sector, but drops sharply before rising slightly in December. Meanwhile, Legal / Professional Services began the quarter bunched at the bottom with the other industries, but had a dramatic increase from October to November.
If the pace of new Android smartphones continues, and if even half of the Android tablets shown off at CES 2011 ever make it out of vaporware status, Android will continue to gain momentum. If for no other reason than the sheer volume of options and platforms available, it seems reasonable to project that Android will surpass iOS in 2011.
That said, the numbers reported by Good Technology only reflect Good's customer base which are businesses, so the data provided by Good is more a measure of the success of the mobile platforms in a business environment rather than overall. The dominance of the iPad, and the established position of the iPhone (coupled with the launch of the Verizon iPhone) may continue to drive iOS--at least as far as Good's data is concerned.