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Research: Choosing a Smartphone

Nov 30, 2008

The Smartphone To Own

The enterprise smartphone is no longer simply a compact, mobile e-mail device slash
fashion item; it’s quickly becoming an essential tool for corporate applications, collaboration, and personal media, in many cases eclipsing the laptop as the device of choice for mobile professionals.

To help enterprise IT groups balance their requirements and future mobility plans with demands from employees wowed by flashy new features, InformationWeek Analytics surveyed 688 business technology professionals to get a sense of current enterprise requirements and plans for smartphone deployments.We also sent a request for information to the seven leading manufacturers of enterprise-class smartphones; Apple, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Research in Motion, and Samsung. Five of the vendors—HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, and Samsung—responded; information on devices from Apple and RIM was compiled from company Web sites, press reports, and other sources.

Comments from survey respondents indicate concerns around security, complexity, and the pressure to support consumer-class devices. “I find that security of data and transmissions from/to mobile devices is still not discussed or understood widely enough.This poses dangers for rolling them out more broadly,” says one poll respondent. Another adds, “Employees have a strong preference for 3G iPhones and the wide variety of business applications already available on the Apple App Store.”

And it’s not solely a U.S. phenomenon by any means. “The line between personal- and
company-supplied [devices] is blurring; at this point, IT only provisions these in the UK because they expect them there,” says one respondent. “We definitely do not purchase iPhones for employees as those devices can be used so extensively for personal content.”

Clearly, there is some disconnect between IT departments, the employees they support, and the device vendors selling to them.This report will examine the current requirements and future plans of enterprises, based on survey responses; provide an overview of devices currently on the market, from RFI responses and independent research; look forward to trends in enterprise smartphones for 2009; and offer advice on how IT can enable mobile users while protecting the business and its data. (381108)

Survey Name: InformationWeek Analytics Smartphone Survey
Survey Date: October 2008
Region: North America
Number of Respondents: 688

Research Report