Google Android smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are taking advantage of a solid presence among all mobile network service users to drive more smartphone purchases by businesses -- and thereby expand on the growing number of mobility applications within the enterprise.
ABI Research predicts that shipment revenues from Android smartphones used by mobile business customers will grow from $54 billion in 2013 to over $92 billion globally by the end of 2018.
They have analyzed Android OEM enterprise features and market presence to provide mobile business customer adoption forecasts for six OEMs -- including HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola Mobility, Samsung, and ZTE.
"Despite a significant presence among employees in the workplace, businesses have not allowed or have limited the access of Android devices to enterprise applications and systems," said Jason McNicol, senior analyst at ABI Research.
Fearing the potential loss of this large, high-margin market segment, Android OEMs have taken it upon themselves to close the perception of increased security threats by making Android devices more enterprise ready.
A mobile device is considered enterprise ready when OS embedded features -- such as device encryption and VPN connectivity -- can be enabled by enterprise mobility vendors.
An example of these features includes Samsung KNOX, which comes pre-installed on Galaxy S4 smartphones, but requires an enterprise mobility vendor such as Citrix or AirWatch to activate the features.
Regardless of the challenges associated with Android, OEMs are leveraging the open platform by using key partnerships to provide enhanced security features and a valuable user experience in enterprise ready devices.
Moreover, Samsung is the clear leader but other OEMs -- such as LG and its GATE solution -- have made great advances in their strategies to capture share of the enterprise device market.
Given their dominant position in the overall mobile communications marketplace, Google Android devices should be able to gain momentum in the commercial space as more early-adopter influencers proactively introduce the platform to their employers. The catalyst will likely be productivity enhancing applications.