While Apple has not changed its strategic focus on the consumer market, the features included in iOS 7 demonstrate that it is getting serious about selling direct to the enterprise – and not just through the BYOD channel where Apple-owning consumers act as brand advocates in the workplace (as we first discussed in our 2011 report The BYOD Gap).
But what has driven this move? Ovum sees this as a signal of the growing maturity of the enterprise mobility market. Businesses are no longer just reacting to employees bringing in their own iOS devices; they are now centrally provisioning new device fleets and beginning to proactively develop process- and role-specific applications. Apple is responding to this maturity shift.
Apple may also see an opportunity in the mobile device management (MDM) space. Although this is less likely – the margins in this space don’t add up for Apple – the features included in iOS 7 certainly make it easier for enterprise IT departments to manage iOS devices without needing third-party MDM support.
What’s new for the enterprise in iOS 7?
Apple has introduced the following features that will make it easier for enterprise IT administrators to manage iPhones and for users to use them at work: