Will Android ever make it as a business platform?

Android has stormed the market, giving everyone another smartphone choice, but will it succeed in the business marketplace?

Android is the newest smartphone platform to revolutionise the mobile market, and it looks to put up a good show compared to BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and the iPhone.

In October 2009, Gartner predicted that the Android platform would rise through the market ranks, becoming the world's second most popular smartphone platform by 2012, behind Symbian, but ahead of the iPhone, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry.

Furthermore, the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute in Taiwan has forecasted that 31.8 million Android smartphones will have been sold by 2013.

But will Android be able to snatch the business market away from its smartphone competitors?

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Target market

If Gartner's predictions are to be believed, Android will surpass popularity of the iPhone, with Apple's device holding its third place ranking in the future.

Although the iPhone was never designed to be used as a business platform first and foremost, it's beginning to filter through in large organisations because of its enhanced security features and ease of use.

However, when businesses began to see how seamlessly well it integrates with Exchange, how easy to set up it is across businesses, and how it can be controlled remotely (with third-party applications) it became a rival to other business platforms. This is mainly because it doesn't require any additions, such as a BES sever with BlackBerry, and is compatible with almost all Exchange servers.

However, one reason the iPhone could be viewed as such a success is because there is only one device framework operating on the OS. This means Apple can work on improving this device and its slight variations rather than having to liaise with a range of device manufacturers to ensure they cover all bases.

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