Recently, Ron Spears, CEO of AT&T, said that 4 out of 10 iPhone sales are to enterprise. This has led to some confusion about what those numbers actually mean, and many repeating the comments but saying that 40% of iPhones are bought by large business. The wording is a little off, and Spears seems to have a very broad definition of the word ‘enterprise’. In Spears’ definition of enterprise, he seems to be accounting for users that buy an iPhone and use it for personal as well and work. If 40% of iPhone sales were truly to enterprise, that would mean that over 4 million iPhones have been bought by large companies, which is highly dubious. What is more likely, is that 40% of iPhone users also work in enterprise.
Much of the confusion likely stems from the employee liable vs corporate liable smartphone scenario, where many employees in enterprise are choosing to bring their own devices on the network. To say that a user has brought their iPhone in to work and chose to use it for business, isn’t the same as a company purchasing the iPhone and asking their employee to use it. The iPhone brought in by the employee may not have access to corporate applications, and therefore is not an enterprise device by definition. It’s hard to imagine the top tier of enterprise and government adopting the iPhone as it doesn’t have the same security and doesn’t meet the standards necessary to be a true corporate device.