Smartphones the clear choice of mobile productivity tool

Devices' prospects boosted by established and successful channels of distribution and less than expected pricing

Research from In-Stat has shown that smartphones are becoming the device of choice in the mobile device market in the US .

The research firm says that as categories of mobile devices converge, there are four primary types of productivity tools: the ultra-mobile PC (UMPC); the mobile Internet device (MID); smartphones; and smartphones with mobile companions. Many employees expect to purchase these devices for themselves, rather than their employer supply these productivity tools.

The clear winner in In-Stat’s recent survey of US users was the smartphone, either alone or with a mobile companion. Nearly half of the respondents chose the benefits and capabilities associated with smartphones. Fewer than 10% indicated a preference for the capabilities of MIDs.

"Helping the smartphone's chances for success are the established and successful channels of distribution and the fact that the actual pricing of this solution is somewhat less than end-user expectations," explained Bill Hughes, In-Stat analyst. "That smartphones are established as a valuable solution today makes the sales process easier than for the other mobile device options."

The research also found that mobile companions for smartphones are also popular, but users have unrealistically low expectations for pricing. Indeed, the main objection for non-users of mobile data technology in general and smartphones in particular, is that users are sceptical of the benefits of mobile data and view it as a "luxury." At the same time, they tend to overestimate the actual cost of smartphones.

About a quarter of users liked the idea of the ultra-mobile PC, as long as it did not involve sacrificing the capabilities of a full-function laptop. Those showing an interest in MIDs were unclear about how they would use these devices or where to buy them.

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