Where do I begin?!
Almost every working adult today owns a mobile phone. According to a recent presentation at Stanford University by a respected venture capitalist named Mary Meeker, there are 5 Billion mobile phone users worldwide. Mobile phones are one of those essential gadgets that very few people can live without because of the convenience it provides.
Imagine back then when we used to conduct business on-site the old school way. In house office meetings and phone calls using the office landline was the way to go. Step out for lunch or for errand and you might miss a business prospect. Fail to answer the landline phone or return a message and you’ll forever wonder if that was your big break. That isn’t the case today. Today more than ever, people understand that time is money and that every minute wasted is an opportunity wasted. These opportunities do not have to stop while a person is travelling or working remotely.
For business owners and employees that are always on-the-go (sales, e-commerce, marketing, emergency services), a mobile phone plan is a must. For these people, having the freedom to communicate and do business anywhere, anytime is the primary reason why they own a mobile phone, and having mobile phones help keep them productive even while they’re on the road.
Still don’t have a mobile phone?
Does your company make a lot of long distance calls? Your company may save on call minutes by getting a mobile phone plan instead of calling long distances from a fixed line. You can save up on long distance charges and taxes. In contrast, if you and your business mainly operate locally and take a lot of local calls, it is best to hold on to your landline to manage those incoming calls.
Hate sharing the phone? If you’re tired of waiting for the other person to get off the phone, then get a mobile phone. Take note that mobile phone calls may still be cheaper than installing and maintaining a bare-bones landline.
Who should be voted out?
Business owners and managers would need to decide who gets a mobile phone (and who doesn’t get one). Not all employees need a mobile phone. A business owner needs to map out the company’s communication needs and figure out who needs a mobile phone plan. For starters, the people who would need to be contacted right away in case of emergency and in crisis management situations (such as senior management) should have a mobile phone. The sales force and marketing team would also need to be mobile and ready to take calls anytime.
What to get, what to get...
So you’ve decided that a mobile phone is a must for your business, the question now is which one should I get - and therein lies the rub!
While mobile phones are the norm, smartphone users are quickly growing. Gartner (February 2013): predicts that there will be close to 1 billion smartphones sold in 2013, which will mean that smartphones will outsell feature phones for the first time.
In some aspect, smartphones are the new personal assistants. With these super-powered phones, anyone can bring important information along wherever they go. Accessing emails and office data is a cinch. Business contact information, work schedules and other work tools are just a click away. It’s like bringing a secretary along all the time.
Not all phones are created equal
The task of choosing a mobile phone for you and your business may be an overwhelming one so sit down, grab a glass of wine and some cheese, or some popcorn and soda. With a plethora of superpowered-do all and be all-smartphones and gadgets to choose from, you will want to study the following very carefully:
Consider this list of smartphones and their business suitability key points to get you started.
Samsung Galaxy series:
The newest addition to the Samsung smartphone family is the Samsung S4 and runs on Android 4.2, Jelly Bean. With its powerful quad core processor, 5 inch HD screen, expandable memory and 13 megapixel camera, it lets you have almost everything you want in a phone except cook your dinner. It is also one of the most secure smartphones out there. It features Knox which lets you create as many encrypted vaults as you want.
HTC One is one of the most secure smartphones out in the market today with features like full data encryption, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and a remarkable 18-hour talk time. Though it doesn’t come with a microSD slot, it comes in 32GB and 64GB versions - a whole lot of storage space that would put hoarders to shame.
Windows Phone 8
The newest Windows Phones boasts of a shared Windows core with Windows 8, meaning all of your Office 2013 apps will sync painlessly through the cloud. Imagine composing a Word document on your computer and easily picking up where you left off on your Windows phone.
The Nokia Lumia 920 differentiates itself from other Windows phone by its wireless charging and its high screen sensitivity. You can use the Nokia Lumia 920 with a gloved hand, perfect for those cold days. If you’re all about practicality, the Nokia Lumia 920 comes at a relatively more affordable price compared to other powerful smartphones and carries the same core features.
HTC Windows Phone X8:
The HTC Windows Phone X8 also has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and shares the same core features with other Windows Phones but it’s sleek design and portability makes it perfect for doing business on the go. It has all the powers of a Windows Phone in a thinner, smaller, and lighter design.
Blackberry’s strength is its powerful email security. That, combined with it’s full keyboard and push button email features make it (still) the most trusted device used as company phones.
The Blackberry Z10:
The Blackberry Z10 is probably the most secure smartphone. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It has Blackberry balance, separating and securing work items from personal information. Your work data and your personal data each get a separate place in the Blackberry Z10’s heart.
The iPhone 5 is the sexiest iPhone ever...so far. It now has 4G data speeds to complement the Safari browser and improved phone hardware and software. It comes with the free Apple Configurator app. This is great for smaller organisations with no IT department because it is designed to control multiple iPhones.
When you see a device that’s too big to be a phone yet too small to be a tablet, what do you call it? It’s called a Phablet. The term “Phablets” is more than just a buzzword and definitely not a fad. Some people just want it all! They want all the features of a superpowered phone in a larger screen. These devices are perfect for more screen-intensive activities (note taking, annotating, sketching etc.) and smaller phones just don’t cut it.
Samsung Galaxy Note II:
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the newest phablet by Samsung. It has a 5.55-inch large display and a self storing stylus. It features a Quadcore processor, expandable memory, and runs the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It is slightly thinner but heavier than it’s big brother the Samsung Galaxy Note.