By Paul Gorski
Apple might not offer a wide variety of iPhone models, but all iPhones are well built and historically have good service records, with all models having largely the same controls and features. This consistency may be a drawback for consumers, but businesses look for reliability and consistency across a platform.
First, the operating system is nearly identical across all iPhones and iPads. All currently shipping iPhones and iPads, and many older models can run the most current version of iOS 8. This helps ensure all users are running current security and operating system patches. Most new Android-based phones are not running the most current version of the Android OS. Only 18 percent of all Android phones are running anything close to the most current OS version. Almost 40 percent of all Android phones in use are not currently receiving security patches, and will not receive security patches, because Google has stopped issuing securing patches for most older Android OS versions.
Second, iOS users use the iPhones and iPads for surfing the Internet and mobile data access almost four times as much as their Android counterparts. As a result, most significant apps are developed first for, and are more mature, on the iOS platform. In addition, apps in the Apple app store are better reviewed for security breaches, again reassuring corporate IT leaders concerned about securing corporate data.
Third, manufacturers of Android-based phones often put their own “skins” on the Android OS, a variety of different interface look and feels. LG phones have a different skin than Samsung phones and Motorola, running a pure Android OS has a different interface than LG and Samsung phones. The iOS interface is consistent across devices, given they are running the same iOS version. This consistency allows for standardized support and app deployment for your corporate iPhones and iPads.
Fourth, because of 1-2-3 above, there is more malware targeted at Android-based phones. Sure, hackers have created iOS malware, but hackers seems to spend most of their time developing Android exploits as the non-standardized platform has been easier to attack.
Fifth, iPhone user training is easy and consistent. Standardized hardware and software help reduce training time and costs. Having the same interface across devices makes training a breeze. If an iPhone breaks, replace it with another iPhone and the user can pick up right where they were before. The ease of iOS education is due in part to the cumulative benefits listed in 1-2-3-4 above.
Coming in a strong sixth place, iPhones have great antennas. When it comes down to it, my phones need to work as phones, even in fringe regions. All major cellular carriers support iPhones, and of the carriers I have tested iPhones with, iPhones have much better phone and data reception than their LG and Samsung counterparts. With the exception of the Google/Motorola Nexus 6 I tested recently, Motorola (Android-based) phones seem to offer voice and data reception equivalent to the iPhones I have tested. Go Moto!
This is not to say Apple iPhones are perfect, but they do offer a level of security, consistency and build quality that corporate IT leaders and technology users can appreciate.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.