Why the enterprise is key for the iPad

Android tablets outpace Apple’s iPad both in terms of units shipped and overall revenues, CNNMoney‘s Philip Elmer-Dewitt reports today. The piece cites estimates from a Morgan Stanley analyst who used recent IDC data to determine that Apple claimed 45.6 percent of worldwide tablet revenues in the third quarter, second to Android’s 46.2 percent. Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley documented her findings in a research note for investors.

Apple still out-earned every other individual tablet manufacturer, of course, and it’s likely to retake its lead in tablet revenues this quarter thanks to the new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini. Apple claimed an early lead in the tablet enterprise market, and that segment is expected to grow in a big way over the next several years. Apple will increasingly have to fend of manufacturers of Windows tablets as well as Samsung, which is making a play for the enterprise with its KNOX initiative. Which is why the company needs to move aggressively to sew up as much of that market as it can before those competing platforms begin to get traction.