Apple gained a head start over Android because it fitted its devices with MDM capabilities since the release of iOS 4 in 2010.
As for Android, the sheer variety of manufacturers and devices amounted to fragmentation, and that used to be an IT nightmare. However, Google alleviated that problem with the release of a resource called Android Enterprise Recommended in 2018. It contains a list of devices and services optimized for enterprise, with helpful details such as update frequency, OS requirements, screen size, storage options, and what kind of industry they’re suitable for.
Both Android and iOS allow contactless enrollment to a company’s server, and you can easily automate profile and access configurations on both platforms as well. There’s a rider though: this is only true of devices purchased from approved resellers. This means you might lose the functionality if you’re operating a BYOD fleet since there’s no guarantee that all your employees would have gotten their devices from such.
Speaking of, iPhones trump Androids when it comes to BYOD. Again, the wealth of options available on the Android market is a downside in this regard — no BYOD program could possibly support the many varieties of Android devices your employees might own. For the same reason, it’s difficult to keep up with updates for an Android fleet — different manufacturers release OS updates and security patches at different intervals.
With iPhones, on the other hand, there’s a limited number of devices to choose from, so BYOD programs are much simpler to manage. Also, because the OS is homogenous, updates are simpler and more consistent.
One aspect where Android shines, however, is containerization. With Google’s Android for Work, users can create a clean distinction between personal and work profiles, segregating apps, content, and other resources.