Looking for a Business Smartphone: Don’t Automatically Choose the iPhone

business smartphone

The iPhone has become ubiquitous in recent years. But as a business user, is it really the best choice for you?

Aside from things like call clarity and photo quality, much of the iPhone’s appeal comes from the variety of applications available. The Apple App Store and Google Play have over 700,000 apps available for both the iPhone and Android systems. But tech and productivity companies often release iOS apps before Android versions. And although it’s not without its faults, Siri is probably the best voice assistant available on any current smartphone.

Android Advances

The obvious competitor here is Android. A January comScore study shows Android phones with 52.3% of the overall smartphone market share, and Apple with 37.8%. But with Android there are a lot of different phones to choose from. A few of the ones likely to be considered by professionals are the Google Nexus 4, HTC Droid DNA, HTC One X+, and the Samsung Galaxy S III.

In a post on TechHive, Andy Ihnatko explained his own reasons for switching from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy S III using Android. Aside from a better keyboard and more convenient speech-to-text option, Ihnatko cited the easier customization and better collaboration options between different apps. Specifically for business users, the Galaxy S offers a larger screen and a keyboard that can make typing long emails easier.

It also has a near field communications (NFC) chip that gives users the ability to communicate with other phones nearby and even lets you share photos, videos, and other files by just tapping your phone against another phone.

There’s also S-Voice, a feature similar to Apple’s Siri. But both Siri and S-Voice have taken a lot of criticism and don’t necessarily present a reason for anyone to switch to either device.

BlackBerry Comes Back

Then earlier this year, another familiar competitor re-energized itself with a new platform. BlackBerry launched a new smartphone operating system, the BlackBerry 10, that it hopes will become a major competitor in the business market. Conrad Flynn made a bold prediction in a recent blog post – that BlackBerry 10 would become the number one corporate smartphone provider this year.

He cited the company’s refocus on the professional market specifically rather than the overall consumer market, saying that the level of integration BlackBerry provides with things like Google Apps and Gmail is something that can’t be found on other devices.

Flynn, who was an early adopter of BlackBerry and currently uses a BlackBerry Bold phone, also said the messaging features on BlackBerry let users integrate things like email, IM, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, rather than providing the more traditional separate email experience of an iPhone or Android phone. “All these little things can save users just that little bit of extra time, and while that might not be as important to the everyday consumer, it can definitely be appealing to the professional user,” he said.

Sales forecasts of the new BlackBerry devices have been strong at 2+ million units per month, per a Seeking Alpha report.  The report quotes analyst Peter Misek in predicting that sales of the more traditional physical-keyboard device, the Q10, will eclipse sales of the Z10.  BlackBerry’s newest physical keyboard device plays to business users.

Miscrosoft Windows Phones

There are also other options from companies like Microsoft, including the HTC Windows Phone 8x and the Nokia Lumia 920. These phones run on the Windows Phone 8 operating system, so they include a lot of the features Windows users are accustomed to.  They don’t, however, yet have nearly the number of apps available as Android and iPhone.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of options to choose from. Different phones and their features are better suited for different types of users and businesses. So going with the most popular or well-known option isn’t necessarily the best choice. Research each phone’s useful features and downsides.  Unstand the difference between using a smartphone for business purposes versus personal use – needs can be very different.  Thoroughly investigate the options to get a phone that’s the right fit for your business.


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

9 Reactions
  1. Its funny how you would highlight alternatives to the IPhone and run down some of the advantages that Android, Blackberry phones have to offer to the business user but when it comes to the Windows Phone, its practically non-existent. Your article and research needs improvement. Leaving out a major competitor’s phone capabilities no matter how small their market share may be is irresponsible to say the least. It just shows the bias you have against Microsoft and their Windows Phone because of your lack of research.

    • Anita Campbell

      Hi Jay, Good point about taking a detailed look. We’ll try to do a detailed review of a Windows phone from a business user’s perspective, if we can get our hands on a review unit.

      Meanwhile, we do recognize that business users demand different things from business devices than consumer users. I even wrote about that last evening regarding the new Windows tablet.

      – Anita

  2. Not a fair comparison on the WP8. No mention of the Office integration, the profile integration with outlook.com, One of the best touch keyboards I have used on a smart phone, and numerous other items. Rather a vague run down of the WP8. “they include a lot of the features Windows users are accustomed to”, does not really explain anything.

    Not to mention the sync through skydrive and from desktop to phone. I find it has one of the best search interfaces when browsing installed applications as well as contacts.

    Maybe put some info in there so people realize it is a viable option.

    • Anita Campbell

      Hi Shaun, thanks for pointing that out. As I mention above, we’ll try to do a detailed review of a Windows 8 phone in the near future.

      – Anita

  3. I really like the Android operating system. I am always skeptical on newer Microsoft products. Normally after a few tries they get it somewhat right. I will wait to consider the Windows operating system for a while.

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