As constant technology advancement is making our mobile phones increasingly more versatile, commercial-grade smartphones are seen to challenge the market for enterprise-grade handheld devices.
Are smartphones challenging enterprise-grade devices?
Articles from as early as 2003 predicted the decline in handheld computer and personal digital assistant (PDA) sales, foreseeing the adaptability of personal phones. This may be because telematics companies are devising and developing smartphone compatible software that can do everything enterprise-grade devices can do and more.
Essentially, this turns your sleek-looking everyday handheld into a machine designed for your workplace.
So, it’s no longer surprising to see commercial tablets and phones mounted inside a vehicle instead. With a simple ruggedized case and an app or a reputable telematics software, your business is ready to save money and time.
Over the years, myriad phone and tablet case manufacturers have designed ruggedized protective cases for consumer-grade devices such as the Otterbox Defender or LifeProof cases. Such ‘accessories’ like these are not to be taken at face value. They protect sleek bodied smartphones and tablets remarkably well.
For example, the three-layered, water-proof design of the Otterbox Defender can withstand intense impacts and drops and survive abrasive environments. Unlike enterprise-grade devices that come pre-ruggedized, these protective cases are also customisable, giving you freedom to use your phone whichever way you want.
Once you put on ruggedized case, dock them onto a phone holder like the Strike Alpha Car Cradle, and your phone is now ready for enterprise use.
There is no doubt that a smartphone with a ruggedized case is highly adaptable. This superior functionality of the smartphone showcases the technology advancement we’ve seen during these last twenty years.
Anyone can access a smartphone. With a smartphone, you can do almost everything handheld computers can do: keep your data all in one place, scan, track assets, and take inventory of all transactions.
Plus, they also cost less. One encased phone can cost considerably less than an enterprise-grade device. Furthermore, a smartphone’s updates are easy and constant. Phone manufacturers are always trying to push out the best tech and best upgrades to their mobile operating systems. So, whether you have an IOS or Android operated phone, you’re always on the edge of a new iteration.
With the ever-improving high-quality cameras built into commercial smartphones, it seems that there’s hardly anything these flexible mobile devices can’t do.
An enterprise-grade device is designed for its job
Downside is that these ruggedized smartphones and tablets are not designed specifically to scan or to operate like an enterprise-grade handheld device. Something that is designed for professional workplace use is exactly that: professional and specialised for work.
The all-in-one functionality of the smartphone means that it is constantly using battery life to maintain all its features. Various devices that have moving backgrounds and hidden (or not-so-hidden) bloatware can run out of battery quickly. Whereas, enterprise-grade handheld computers, scanners, tablets, and other devices, are designed to not distract you or your employees from the work at hand.
Take barcode scanners for example, the mechanics in these enterprise-grade devices are especially designed to scan. The ruggedized body of handheld computers are especially designed to withstand impacts and drops. The external structure of these devices are especially designed to withstand long and continuous use.
Sure, although smartphones are aesthetic, chic, and come at a reasonable price, they need additional software installation, and shock absorption cases to protect them from impacts. And true, the handheld computer or scanner may be bulky – up to almost double the weight of a smartphone – but it is built to be rugged and withstand prolonged use and rough handling.
Nowadays, enterprise-grade devices can look just like smartphones while maintaining enterprise functionality with its increasingly sleeker models.
Some manufacturers also release their devices with extra features such as hand straps for better grip, and removable batteries to extend their already super long battery life. So, enterprise-centred devices such as these are risking good looks for focused utility.
Smartphones and tablets are multifunctional, adaptable, and cost-effective options for businesses that require them in greater quantities. Simply attach a protective case, integrate a software, and dock it on a phone mount and you’ll be all set. However, the downside is that they may not last as long as enterprise-grade devices.
So, it really depends on what’s the best device for your lifestyle, what your business’s budget is like, and whether you’re willing to purchase a new smartphone model once every few years.
As we see it, with handheld computers becoming more like smartphones and with smartphones becoming more like handheld computers, will there still be a distinction between consumer-grade and enterprise-grade devices in ten years’ time?
The Strike Alpha Cradle
Photo credit: http://www.cravingtech.com/
The Strike Alpha Car Cradle is an innovative and durable holder designed to hold, charge, and protect your device while driving.
Installation is easy, simply mount the Alpha Cradle onto your car, dock your smartphone onto it, and you’ll be ready for the road.
Designed and crash-tested to withstand up to 25g, the Alpha Cradle is sturdy and durable.
Feel free to check out our range of cradle products here.
About Strike Group:
Strike Group is Australia’s leading provider and manufacturer of innovative car technologies. Strike integrates innovative design and seamless engineering in all its products. The company now exports to 72 countries having appointed key partners in the American and European market.