Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was famous for ignoring corporate enterprise as a business option, reportedly telling Intel engineers that Apple would build products so compelling and useful (the iPhone) for business employees that corporate IT departments would simply have to deal with it. The growing popularity of Mac, iPhone, and iPad has developed into a trend known as BYOD. Bring your own device. That means business IT departments have to deal with what employees want to use instead of dictating what employees can use.
Another one is called BYO-ID. Bring your own identity.
This new trend basically means your login ID or username and password are managed by a third party. You see it often these days when you need to register for a new website and are given options to use your Facebook or Twitter or Google account.
There’s also a growing trend to use BYO-ID as a subscription-based service that gives subscribers access to specific apps in a somewhat more secure environment. Think of it as identity as a service. This is an idea I like and one which Apple probably does not.
For example, we can use our Mac’s as multi-user devices simply by adding more users. Each use may have full access, or limited access to the applications and files stored on a single Mac. Apple could but does not provide multi-user access to iPhones or iPads.
Apple makes money the old fashioned way. Hardware. Why should a single iPad be usable to five members of a household when Apple could make more money by selling multiple iPads to the same household?
BYO-ID is a bit different, but is gaining traction thanks to cloud apps from Google, Microsoft, and now even Apple. The growing trend of BYOD and BYO-ID means that all anyone needs to conduct their work on a computer is a computer— mobile, desktop, notebook– connected to the internet.
Simply use your authenticated identity from any connected device and your data is available, ready to use– and that could easily include photos, documents, spreadsheets, as well as social apps. This may explain why schools are adopting Google Chromebooks by the millions. By themselves, the Chromebooks don’t do much, but with user data on the internet or school servers, each device can easily be used by multiple students and teachers from anywhere.
It’s as if communism came to personal computing devices. There’s no ownership; just usage rights. Equal usage rights.
This cannot be a trend that Apple likes, despite the growing popularity of iCloud-based apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, and eventually Photos. Apple makes money by selling hardware. If we as users need less hardware– whether PCs, smartphones, or tablets– because all we need to do is to be online to the internet and we can use any device to access files, Apple loses sales.