Apple’s iPad tablets and iPhone smartphones are gaining ground against mobile devices based on Google’s Android operating system, Microsoft’s Windows mobile platforms and Symbian, used by Nokia — and the fastest adopters of iPads are financial services firms.

Those are the key findings of mobile device activations in the fourth quarter of 2010, as maintained by Good Technology, a provider of digital tools for deploying mobile devices and maintaining security in mobile communications.

The activation report, which covers thousands of corporations, does not include BlackBerry handheld devices. In the head-to-head competition between Apple and Google, however, Apple is taking share, the report shows.

Activations of devices using the Android operating system hovered at around 30% of all activations, throughout the quarter, Good found.

No Windows or Symbian devices appeared in the top 10 devices activated. By the end of the quarter, activations were dropping close to a zero percent share, in each case.

Meanwhile, activations of tablets and phones using Apple’s iOS operating system climbed from under 60% to roughly 68%. The iOS devices also had “roughly twice the activations of Android for the full year” 2010, Good said. The Apple results are fueled by “steadily rising iPad activations,” it said.

The biggest adopters of iPads, by far, are firms in the financial services industry, which includes capital markets firms. Dreyfus Corporation, for instance, has given iPads to all members of its mobile sales force for stock funds.

Good said it expects iOS devices to find “broader adoption” in 2011, that iPads will continue their “rapid growth” and that 2011 will be “the year of the tablet.”

Good said it expects the Android operating system, which will also have tablets on sale for the full year, and the Apple iOS to dominate enterprise activations of mobile devices.

Steinert-Threlkeld writes for the Securities Technology Monitor, a SourceMedia publication.

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