Sep 04

Mobile device penetration at Constellation Research illustrates why BYOD is an enterprise issue

After the  Constellation Research Summer Retreat in late July a survey of mobile device penetration was undertaken.  The results, analyzed during the vacation season, are not dramatic.  But they do illustrate why BYOD, if Constellation is a proxy for larger organizations, is an issue for enterprises.

Mobile phones

For mobile phones, there were:

  • no feature phones in use
  • 22% of people used more than 1 phone (the maximum, for 2 individuals, was 5 each – but both cover mobility)
  • the average number of mobile phones per person was 1.6
  • no less than 14 different models were in use (iPhone 3, 3GS, 4, 4S, Blackberry Torch and Bold,  Samsung SII and Exchange II, Google Nexus S, HTC XDA, Sony Ericsson Yendo, Nokia Lumia, Motorola Photon and XT530)
  • on these smartphones 62% run iOS; 21% run Android; 7% run Blackberry OS, 7% run either Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7.5, and 3% Java.

What isstriking here is the number of ‘older’ smartphones, which may possess out-of-date OS releases, and thereby security holes which have been ‘mended’ by vendors but not patched by owners. This is an issue that WinShuttle raised (see case study –…).  Additionally, the failure of the now 18 month-old Microsoft/Nokia partnership to achieve penetration is clear (though much may be attributed to the decision not to enable Windows Phone 7.5 users to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 on current devices — a palpable own-goal by Microsoft).


For tablets the position was as follows:

  • there were 1.17 tablets per user surveyed, even though 33% of respondents possessed no tablet at all
  • of those who did (have a tablet), 22% owned more than 1 tablet (the maximum being 4, covering iOS, Android and Windows 7/8)
  • 71% use iOS on their tablet; 14% use Android (from Motorola and Samsung), and 14% use either Windows 7 or Windows 8 (Fujitsu, Lenovo and Samsung).

The dominance of the iPad is plain to see.  This may, of course, change with the arrival of Windows 8 tablets (already being announced at IPA in Berlin last week) and with more likely to come this week from Amazon, Google (Motorola) and Nokia.


For laptops:

  • there were 1.44 laptops per user surveyed (the maximum being 4 laptops forone user)
  • more than 33% of users surveyed used more than 1 laptop (probably reflecting the fact that these devices have a long life and are not lightly thrown away)
  • 42% use OS X (35% being on MacBook Pros and 7% being on MacBook Airs)
  • 58% use Windows in one form or another (from XP to Windows 8)
  • the range of manufacturers was broad and included Apple (for OS X) and Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony (for Windows)
  • there was no usage of Linux on laptops (though one user had Linux running in a VM on a Windows host).

The extent of the OS X penetration at Constellation Research is much higher than the broader market — which normally suggests that OS X has around a 7% share (though this includes servers).  What is, perhaps, more surprising is the low adoption rate of the MacBook Air compared to the MacBook Pro, especially among a Constellation Research population that travels frequently: computing power and larger screen would appear to matter more than lightness.

The rest of 2012

October 2012 sees the formal launch of Windows 8, on tablets and on laptops/PCs — and likely Windows Phone 8.  With iOS and Android already well established enterprises may like:

  • on the one hand, having a third alternative mobile device OS and broader range of devices available
  • on the other hand Windows 8 success will add to the range of BYOD devices that will need managing.

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