What's happening with smartphones? Well, everything. RIM's BlackBerry started a trend that gained full momentum the moment Apple rolled out the iPhone (News - Alert) and Samsung created the first Galaxy S phone. Since then, the smartphone has become less of a novelty item and more of a must-have, particularly in the North American market. For example, roughly half (145 million) of all the population of the United States has one of these nifty little devices.
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) has helped facilitate this explosion, with companies embracing more popular alternatives to BlackBerry, such as iOS and Android (News - Alert). The latter platforms were designed for consumers more than they were designed for the workplace. However, they never fail to deliver brilliant corporate applications that more than make up for the potential for distraction.
Ronald Gruia, director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), explains how BYOD works: “In the BYOD world, companies are giving employees $200 to subsidize their preferred smartphone and are then implementing company resources to monitor their data and workplace usage on those phones.”
This is in contrast with the previous trend, when companies were offering BlackBerry (News - Alert) devices to their employees with the intent of using them solely for work. As these devices started losing popularity, a new strategy had to come into play.
In this day and age, three quarters of companies allow their employees to use devices they bring from home for corporate purposes. This number is only going to grow as the tidal wave of BYOD presses this trend even further. However, the fact that only a quarter of firms have compliance rules in place for BYOD can be a bit troublesome, since they run the risk of leaking some of their confidential information.
No one should neglect, though, the impact that BYOD has had in the area of smartphone sales, which is growing tremendously. Juniper Research (News - Alert) says that app downloads will exceed 160 billion by 2016, and data traffic will exceed 90,000 petabytes by 2017. To put that into perspective, that's about 7 billion Blu-ray movies.
Let's hear it for the awesomeness of mobility!