Especially, In AIX environment packages can be installed in two state
By default, AIX packages are installed in applied state only. You may also came across a scenario where some of the packages are installed as commit state. Ex: openssh, openssl, tivoli & emc.
Note: Please keep in mind, you cannot install all kinds of packages in applied state. To know more information; review your logs file i.e. smit.log or /var/adm/ras/install_all_updates.log
Lets say, I need to know what are the packages are still in applied state. Then, You use below command to verify them.
In general, Before applying an TL or SP packages on AIX operating system you need to check for applied state and commit them. During this scenario you would be running the above command.