It’s no secret that smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. Apple was last to the party with the 5.5” screen ‘iPhone 6 Plus’ last September, but extra-large sized phones have been available for both Android and Windows phones beforehand. There has been a substantial increase in consumption patterns for this size of phone. Extra-large phones now make up 20% of the market in 2015 up from just 6% at the beginning of 2014. This number is likely to increase even further as more phone manufactures decide to make these ‘larger than life’ phones their flagship devices, instead of being an interesting niche side offering.
With both consumers and business users doing even more with the content of their larger smart phones, the need for small to medium sized tablets has also decreased. Why carry around a 7” tablet when you have a 5.5” phone in your pocket? As applications, services and support becomes even more universal across the competing mobile platforms, almost any modern smart phone could be used for business, so with all the competing platforms and devices – which makes most sense for your business?
The primary consideration for business will be to strike a good balance of cost, functionality and administration effort required.
• Price is the most obvious point here and multiplying this by the size of your workforce is critical. What could seem a reasonable price difference between handsets at face value will balloon in size if it is to become the new company standard when you do your rollout.
• Functionality between different devices used to vary far more greatly than it does today but is still a very important consideration. How great does the camera quality need to be? Will wireless charging be utilised? How big is ‘big enough’ for the screen to view ever increasing content application to help workflow on the move? And the perpetual question of how long will the battery last in ‘real world’ use time?
• Administration effort may not come up in conversation much on picking the perfect phone but is potentially the biggest pain area if not considered thoroughly. Some Smartphones are very much consumer focused and can be used as great business phones – but only after deleting bloat apps, changing settings, disabling features, downloading essential tools and compliance procedures. Many of these tasks can be assisted with MDM but even with an MDM layer, some phones are simply quicker and thus more preferable to select and setup than others.
If your office runs Microsoft software then the overlooked Windows Phones could be perfect for you. The system is quick and battery efficient and comes with Microsoft Office pre-installed, which saves time downloading the de facto tool every time you roll out a new device. They are also very price competitive: for example the new 5” Lumia 640 can picked up £129 which makes it cheaper than the 5” Motorola G at £149 and a staggering difference to the 4.7” iPhone 6 starting at £539 unlocked.
There’s no perfect phone for all businesses, so your choice will be tailored to your own business needs, the support lifespan from the manufacturers and new technical innovations that could help improve your worker’s business performance.
What makes you decide which phone your business has chosen this year or is planning to purchase this year? Let us know which you think is right for your business and what the deciding factor was?
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