Seventy one per cent of firms provide smartphones to staff

By Danny Palmer
20 Aug 2012 View Comments
An Apple iPhone 4s

Seventy-one per cent of companies provide smartphones to at least some staff, while one-third offer tablet computers to their employees. That's according to the findings of a recent Computing survey examining mobile device use.

Further reading

Elsewhere in the survey, business's preference for BlackBerrys was underlined, with Research In Motion's (RIM's) devices making up the lion's share of the business smartphones provided to employees – in sharp contrast to the Apple and Android-powered phones favoured by private purchasers.

Smartphones

With over 600 responses, 71 per cent answered yes when asked if their employers provide smartphones. BlackBerry proves to be the preferred brand among employers, with 61 per cent of respondents saying their organisation offers the choice of a RIM-manufactured device to at least some staff.

The high percentage of organisations that provide BlackBerrys is arguably due to the advantages of the security and remote device management offered by RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), both of which are of high importance in the workplace. With BES already installed in a great many enterprises, RIM also has a built-in advantage when it comes to business smartphone choice.

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Thirty-eight per cent of organisations that provide smartphones allow staff to select an iPhone while 30 per cent offer the option of an Android device. Just 15 per cent said their employers will potentially provide Windows phones to staff, an indication of the mountain Microsoft needs to climb in the business space.
The figures for brands of smartphone provided by employers offers a stark contrast to what respondents actually use. Asked about their primary device, Android emerged as the most popular mobile operating system with a 51 per cent share of the readership, compared to 23 per cent for iPhone and just 14 per cent for BlackBerry.

This supports the common assumption that many in the workforce have more than one phone, with BlackBerrys reserved for business, and all other activity carried out on other devices.

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Tablets

Company-provided tablets are far less common than smartphones, with just 33 per cent of respondents saying their employers offer them to staff of any description. Among those that do, the iPad dominates, with our research revealing a commanding 80 per cent standing in these organisations.

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