I'm nobody's fan boy. I don't love any particular brand. Never have. Never will. It's not in my DNA. I love my family, I love food and wine and dinner conversation, I love making music with the band, and I love to ride my bike on Metro West roads with a buncha guys. I don't love products.
But I do love great technology that improves lives and businesses. That's my calling card and the reason I work at Forrester Research.
We have lots of data and analysis that illuminates the future. It's our stock in trade. Data like the level of enterprise IT support for bring your own (BYO) phones (46% provide some support). Or the number of working Americans that own a mobile phone (84%) or a smartphone (7.4%). BTW, this data shows where the real growth potential in this market is.
So what matters in the smartphone platform enterprise wars? Great products, stellar service, attractive prices, and memorable marketing matter of course. But in my experience with platforms wars and device wars through the ages, some other things will matter as well:
So who will win? It's too early to tell, but it looks to me based on these inputs as well as conversations with over 50 enterprise IT professionals that both BlackBerry and iPhone devices will dominate. On the other hand, this market looks a lot more to me like the fast food market than the cola market. It won't be a two horse race; it will be a 5 or 6 horse race.
But to be clear: My job is to support IT professionals dealing with horizontal workforce technologies. For these clients, I work to identify their needs, issues, and situation. Then I share best practices from other firms and my data-driven analysis of what path they should take. RIM and Apple are at the top of that list today, both in the best practices and in the advice. But I will never count out the other device platforms at this point. Too much investment from too many great vendors to do that.
It's going to be an exciting market with tremendous advances, hence advantages, for companies and individuals in the next four years. Hang on, folks.
I'm sure other things matter to the enterprise smartphone platform wars, and I'd be happy to hear about them. We'll learn together.