Been inside your local retail wireless store lately?
If so, while you are browsing all the new shiny devices you probably noticed something – the serious lack of “feature” phones. In fact, did you notice what devices the majority other people were buying, or having serviced? You guessed it – Smartphones.
The Death of the Feature Phone
An article over on RCR Wireless last week described that the consumer market is trending far away from the low-tech feature phones to Android and Apple iOS equipped Smartphones.
This should not come at a surprise – the Smartphone revolutionizes organizational (and personal) productivity in a way never before possible. Add to that the fact that device prices are dropping as low as $50 range and you can expect feature phones to become relatively extinct* by late 2011.
How this Effects Enterprise Wireless Mobility
This brings a multitude concerns for enterprises who currently have a large scale wireless program and are switching over to Smartphones – over those who are not fully integrated. Typical problems that organizations are expected to experience are based around:
- New security concerns
- Application issues
However, the biggest factor facing enterprise wireless is the rise of costs due to mandatory data packages.
This tradeoff in productivity is (in most cases) well worth the extra $10-$30 a month in extra fees. Nowadays, this is a simply necessary cost of doing business.
Nonetheless, these extra costs can put strain on an organization’s wireless budget and should be watched and protected very carefully. For instance, Verizon is adding its much-awaited LTE 4G network which brings new technology and great advances in speed of mobile computing. On the contrary, there is also serious talk about capping monthly data usage plans, which can be deadly for enterprise users.
If not managed properly this can mean an unsettling impact on an enterprise’s bottom line. This also means corporate subscribers will be subjected to variable data costs, thus making an increasing positive business case for proactive wireless management.
It’s Not All Bad News
The news of Android and Windows OS integration (late 2010) should make the transition from feature phone to Smartphone easier for most enterprise managers. We’ll keep you updated on this as we learn more!
*Sure there will still be a feature phone market, but largely overshadowed by the Smartphone offerings