BYOD: North America and Asia embrace it; Western Europe, not so much

BYOD: North America and Asia embrace it; Western Europe, not so much

Summary: Quick hits from Strategy Analytics' report on smartphones in global businesses for Q1 2013.

Photo: Robert Nelson/Flickr

The enterprise technology community is decidedly split on the value of bring-your-own-device, or BYOD. (ZDNet readers have seen that debate play out on these very pages.) A new survey shows that the rift has as much to do with geography as it does technology.

In the first quarter of 2013, the number of smartphones entering large businesses through the outlay of employees (hereafter, "BYOD devices") was more than double the number purchased as corporate assets, according to a new report from market research firm Strategy Analytics.


That's 62 million business smartphones in total, or about 30 percent of the global smartphone market.

But the story is different depending on which continent you live. North America and the Asia-Pacific region "have been the most liberal in their approach," with 18 and 77 percent increases in year-over-year BYOD device volume, respectively.

Western Europe, on the other hand, isn't so keen: the region saw a 15 precent year-over-year BYOD device reduction in Q1, and a 43 percent increase in corporate smartphones. Strategy Analytics called the market "far less liberal," a description usually not given to the area.

What gives? Several factors: costly roaming tariffs and the inability of operators to offer split-billing on data charges, plus the usual concern from IT organizations who want to preserve volume rate plans and fear security breaches.

"Western Europe is already scaling back a trend it barely recognized," the authors write. Oof.

Overall, global BYOD devices experienced almost 100 percent growth in 2013, with 40 percent just in Q1. But the concerns of enterprises in Western Europe are hardly unique—making you wonder which way the wind is blowing as we head toward 2014.

Topics: Mobility, Consumerization

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Legality

    The other factor is the legality of using personal devices in a corporate environment.

    In Europe, if you use your own device, you have to accept that it will be password protected and that once it has any corporate data, especially things like contact lists, then your friends and family can no longer legally use the device.

    Little Johnny is going to be very disappointed, when his parents won't let him play Angry Birds any more on their iPads, because they are now locked into a corporate network and he cannot use the devices.

    Data Protection legislation in Europe is very strict, which makes BYOD a minefield for both employer and employee. It can be done, but there are very big risks on both sides of the fence. Therefore it is often easier to provide a company 'phone or tablet, than allow a private one to be added to the corporate infrastructure - even if it is only connected to EAS for email, calender and contacts.