MDM is Just too Small a Market for Apple

It is no secret that MDM is a huge market and Apple is in large part responsible for the trend where non-Microsoft and non-Blackberry devices infiltrated the enterprise. Moreover, corporate IT departments have huge budgets so if Apple came out with an MDM solution it could do exceedingly well in the market.

Writing for TMCnet, Joe Rizzo asks why Apple isn’t in this market and he makes some good points.

You have to wonder however the predicament Cupertino is in at the moment. They are under enormous pressure to innovate and do something big to prove they still have their post Steve Jobs mojo. The company is so concerned about being seen as un-innovatine that they’ve resorted to swearing in their WWDC love-fests. Phile Schiller in-fact recently said, “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass,” referring to the new look and feel of iOS 7.

The point here is an MDM solution doesn’t exactly make people very excited. The market isn’t lucrative enough and for a company so tied to the word “cool,” an MDM solution makes the company seem old and stodgy.

Still, Samsung is trying its best to assist corporations with regards to their management of Samsung devices – their SAFE for Enterprise solution helps with device management, encryption and functions across 26 of the company’s devices so far.

It’s instructive to look at the history of smartphones over the last decade where companies like Nokia and Microsoft were very strong in the enterprise management space along with Blackberry of course. Apple changed the game with BYOD – they forced the enterprise to support devices they didn’t want to support. They did this by not focusing on the “ugly” backend but instead by creating a gorgeous front-end.

In other words, Apple seems to be very happy selling the best consumer devices they can with incremental nods to the enterprise.

These are some of the reasons for Apple not getting into the MDM space – it will be interesting to see if this market becomes more important to them over time. For now, my sense is the market is too messy for the company and they will be happy continuing to delight consumers who in-turn will bring their gadgets to work.


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