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11/3/2009
09:34 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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BlackBerry Out-Innovates iPhone, Say SMBs

In a recent survey, almost half (48%) of respondents rated BlackBerry the most innovative smartphone, compared to 29% most impressed with the iPhone. No other platform, including Android, garnered more than 5%. It may not be a big deal, though, because less than a quarter (24%) say they're ready to switch smartphones.

In a recent survey, almost half (48%) of respondents rated BlackBerry the most innovative smartphone, compared to 29% most impressed with the iPhone. No other platform, including Android, garnered more than 5%. It may not be a big deal, though, because less than a quarter (24%) say they're ready to switch smartphones.These surprising results are part of a new survey of SMBs and smartphones by independent research firm Decision Analyst for on-demand file server provider Egnyte.

Whatever smartphone they use, though, more than half of small companies use their smartphones to do business, and 13% use their smartphones more than they use their computers -- and another 50% use their smartphones "very often" (5-7 times per week). Almost two-thirds (64%) use smartphones to create content and access files.

Almost 90% say their smartphone lets them conduct important business on the road -- which is the point, I guess. And of the quarter of SMBs ready to swap phones in the next 6 months, almost a third (30%) hope to use their new device to replace their computers. (Good luck with that...)

Since Egnyte sponsored the survey, it's no surprise that several questions referenced data access:

  • Data ccess (68%) and security (56%) were the highest rated mobile issues. Mobile applications were most important to only 16% of respondents.
  • 74% say smartphone access and the ability to share file server data would boost productivity.
  • 73% do better satisfying customers via remote data access while on the road.
  • Slow data access is the biggest remote issue for 36% of respondents.

Egnyte Executive Summary-FINAL

So when do SMBs need access to their data? 64% said they needed it in transit, while 56% were in customer meetings (35% needed it in meetings with "potential" customers). Vacation use was also popular (55%) along with home (37%) and job sites (36%).

Don't Miss: Slideshow: Top 10 BlackBerry Apps For SMBs

Finally, Egnyte used the survey release to highlight its new interface for Blackberry and Android smartphones (it announced an iPhone interface last year). The new UI lets Blackberry or Android users more easily navigate folder hierarchies leveraging Egnyte's mobile "m Drive" for access to data stored via the Egnyte file server.

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