Apple will fill enterprise mobility void left by BlackBerry

In 2014, Apple will step into the enterprise void being left by struggling BlackBerry, predicts Bill Seibel, founder of mobility firm Mobiquity.

In an interview with Forbes contributor Peter Cohan, Seibel cites Apple's "reputation for quick reaction to malware, better device management and BYOD" as reasons why the firm will make significant inroads into the enterprise.

Siebel notes that Apple is beefing up its enterprise capabilities, such as security, more control over apps, single sign on, lower cost as well as bundling iWork apps for free.

When Apple released its new mobile operating system iOS 7 last year, it touted its new enterprise friendly features, such as improved security, deployment flexibility for employees, limitation of work documents to corporate apps and automatic connection to a virtual private network for apps.

Apple will beat Android and Microsoft to the enterprise punch, Seibel predicts. Android's popularity in the consumer marketplace is not yet translating to the enterprise market, and Microsoft's mobile products have not gained enough "acceptance and market traction" in the enterprise to take over BlackBerry's position.

Not everyone is convinced that Apple has the goods to deliver for the enterprise. ABI Research senior analyst Jason McNicol judges that Apple was "not terribly innovative" in its iOS 7 enterprise offerings. "Despite the positive market buzz, iOS 7 enterprise features are unlikely to increase its enterprise presence. Plenty of market opportunity remains, especially for a company like Microsoft," McNicol writes.

Despite these differing assessments of Apple in the enterprise, one thing is clear--CIOs operating BlackBerry shops need to develop contingency plans should the Canadian firm continue its downward spiral.

For more:
- read the Forbes column
- see ABI's release

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