High-end mobile phones, also commonly known as smartphones, are increasingly becoming relevant to businesses. It is not uncommon for companies to align their business and software strategies with the technology developments, of which smartphone use is one of the reigning trends. Given their greater built-in functionalities, smartphones make it easier for everyone in the business arena - from the primary decision makers to the working professionals - to do and accomplish things quicker.
Smartphones have become a constant companion of CEOs and workers alike who want to keep themselves organized without having to carry a bunch of bulky gadgets. These days, handsets are "smart" enough to offer flexibility with tasks such as taking and reviewing notes; setting appointments; or reviewing documents and contracts - all while its user is on the move.
Smartphone functionalities that have been proven to be highly usable for enterprises include map access, satnavs and information sharing features, all of which have become indispensable tools for international business marketing, while taking entrepreneurs a step ahead of their daily schedules.
Quite expectedly, smartphone use has seen an upsurge in recent months, indicating an unrelenting expansion of the smartphone market. Global leader in information and data measurement Nielsen reports that 62% of handset-using adults aged 25 to 34 own and use smartphones.
A related report fresh from research and advisory firm Gartner points out in the third quarter of 2011, mobile device unit sales reached 440.5 million globally, showing an increase of 5.6 percent from the same period in 2010.
The "Business-friendlier" Smartphone
With smartphone adoption in the enterprise gaining its momentum, dominant archrivals iPhone and Windows Phone 7 or WP7 are parading their capabilities, seemingly outwitting each other in terms of features and design.
The first iPhone device was by introduced by Steve Jobs in 2007, and released on the same year. The smartphone's 5th generation - the iPhone 4S - was introduced on the 4th of October 2011. On the same week, Apple's OS for handheld gadgets - iOS 5.0 - was also launched.
Legions of enterprise-class users have been attracted to Apple, with developers making the iPhone much more durable and affordable. Apple's iPhone, especially its latest 4S device, offers apps for various business needs, while sporting a trendy design. It flaunts Siri, the intelligent voice recognition feature that has been integrated into the iPhone 4S core.
In an extravagant launch on November 7, 2011, Microsoft unveiled its very own Windows Phone 7 or WP7 in Manhattan, flaunting its capabilities. Seemingly targeting to follow the dominance of Windows in the desktop arena, WP7 is out to thwart the iPhone craze.
Tech research organization PCWorld notes that while Windows Phone 7 seems to be in "an underdog position" against competitors like Apple and Google, IT managers in the enterprise are gravitating towards the device simply because it offers compatibility with software and tools from Microsoft, the leader in enterprise software.
In a differing review, InfoWorld, a leading info resource on emerging business technologies, notes that while WP7 has a stunning and intuitive user interface, it falls short of its competitor iPhone - which amasses a world of capabilities. The review points out that the WP7 does not support Adobe Flash Player and websites that are HTML5-based, which are essential platforms and tools for businesses. On the other hand, the iPhone 4 supports nearly all except for Flash. As such, the said InfoWorld review underscores that WP7 may be a slick gadget, but it cannot be as business-friendly as the iPhone is.
The battle of smartphones, as unofficially dubbed by tech watchers, is still in its infancy. Game-changing as they are, these devices are revolutionizing business and software strategies in the enterprise environment with features that elevate the way people do business.