By Tress Fereday, Expedition PR
It was the announcement that American Airlines purchased 17,000 of Samsung’s Galaxy Note “phablets” for their flight attendants that got my attention. Considering that the airline has already provided their pilots with 10,000 Apple iPad’s, I wondered why they switched hardware, and ultimately operating systems, for this purchase. Their PR has been grim of late throughout their bankruptcy troubles and merger talks. Finally here is some “innovation news,” so I wanted to know more.
It seems they already have a relationship with Samsung where their maintenance personnel use the Galaxy Tab, and that device is also offered to Business Class customers for inflight entertainment.
Although the latest data shows that Apple’s iPad and iPhone are the top pick for flyers with the Apple operating system being used 84 percent of the time inflight over Android. Also, research is revealing that iPhone and iPad continue to gain ground with business users.
This Apple iOS vs. Google’s Android reminds me of the days (not that long ago) when Microsoft ruled the desktop – and the business user – though Apple held strong with certain sectors. I worked at Marketing Communications agencies where “the creatives” had to have Macs, but “account service” always used PCs. That divide is no longer.
So, if you are considering your own options in mobile, here are 3 things you can learn from these enterprise players:
1) Test & Ask Your End User: American could have gone to their Purchasing Manager and said “buy more iPads,” because the pilots are already using them. But their needs this time were different. The iPad is being used in the cockpit as an “Electronic Flight Bag” to replace the paper-based reference materials, and it is approved by the FAA.
According to their own announcement, they chose Samsung this time after months of testing different devices and gathering employee (their end users) feedback.
2) It’s All About the App: App makers now prioritize the biggest platforms of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Enterprise players like SAP offer mobile enterprise apps and create an ecosystem around it, much like you’d find for the consumer. And, wireless trades are calling 2013 the year of the mobile enterprise app.
3) Say Bye-Bye PC: According to IDC, the number of people accessing the Internet through PCs will shrink by 15 million over the next four years, while the number of mobile users will increase by 91 million. Also, they project that mobile device sales will make up 57 percent of overall IT spending growth expected in 2013.
Now BlackBerry (the once ruler of the smartphone market) has announced the largest single handset purchase in the company’s history of 1 million BlackBerry 10 devices.
So, stay tuned as this mobile device story continues to develop…
And if you have a favorite mobile enterprise app, let us know!