Since the first Apple iPhone in 2007, more than 100 new models from a handful of competitors entered the arena. While the iPhone is still enjoying its head start, the Samsung Galaxy S is nipping at its heels. In the consumer landscape, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is currently outselling the iPhone 5S (both the newest models from each company).
But the business world is a whole different landscape. Millions of office-going employees already bring smartphones to work every day. Companies are either adopting Bring Your Own Device policies (BYOD), creating mobile apps to partner their own objectives with smartphones, or issuing devices to each employee directly.
So whether you’re buying the devices for employees, or simply choosing which format to support, these are the pros and cons for the top two devices in North America right now.
Forget About Blackberry
“Blackberry could be a third option, right?” Stop it with those thoughts. There was a time when Blackberry reigned supreme as the ultimate business phone, but those days are in the dust. Even the President of the United States ditched his beloved Blackberry for an iPhone after he won the election. The sad truth (for RIM and Blackberry, anyway) is that app developers don’t bother with Blackberry’s OS anymore. Windows gets the little bit leftover from iOS and Android, which consume the market.
Let’s not split hairs and focus on consumer details. When it comes to business applications, the guts inside the iPhone and Galaxy match up quite evenly. So instead, let’s focus on design and, more specifically, screen size.
The iPhone has the usual 4-inch Retina Display (same as the iPhone 5) and the Galaxy packs a much larger 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen. If all your phone needs is email and meeting reminders, then it really doesn’t matter if you have four or five inches of real estate. But most modern employees access documents, spreadsheets and slides right from their smartphone (and even edit them too). In this category, the screen matters.
Google’s open-sourced OS, Android, has come a long way since it was an early iPhone competitor. It even rivals the Apple OS in some regards. If your dev team is creating native apps in-house, neither platform has a huge advantage over the other. But if you’re relying on outside apps from the App Store or Google Play, iOS always gets the edge on the latest and greatest enterprise and small business apps.
On the flip side, if you take your native app global, the requirements from Google are much more lenient.
You have two choices for mobile support: internal and external. Hiring your own team to support mobile issues could be expensive and outside sources could be unreliable (and also pricey). Let’s pretend for a moment you chose to forego your own team. The GalaxyS is sold at major tech stores like Best Buy, but the iPhone is sold in retailers like T-Mobile and its own Apple Store. That’s important to note because most service at the Apple Store, not including parts or hardware replacements, is free. That could save your company a lot of money when it needs software assistance.