So with the iPhone 5 imminent and most of us here not thinking straight and just wanting one like everyone else! I thought we’d just highlight the top reasons why the iPhone isn’t a good choice of rugged PDA for a business solution. These are from experience, from chatting to customers who have used them and partly sharing in their pain! So, lets see what these are!
The iPhone isn’t rugged. We have rugged PDA’s with Gorilla glass, it’s OK at dealing with small scratches, we still recommend a screen protector and it doesn’t make a smart phone rugged! As doesn’t a case! A case will help protect a PDA, but Rugged PDA’s are built with ruggedness in mind from the moment they’re through up, an iPhone just crams everything into as-small-a space as possible and that’s it!
The iPhone battery is not replaceable, it can’t be changed easily in field and must be charged regularly due to the high power consumption an iPhone has. The battery has been the source of many mission critical stories of woe for us and its also not environmentally friendly as they can;t be easily removed and contained when the device is thrown away,
OK, so Apple service is fairly good, but at the end of the day, it’s not fast or guaranteed and it’s costly to have things put right. So you turn to the independent repair centre but the parts are usually not official, being refurb or just Chinese Copies, arguably even illegal and you’re never quite sure what you’re getting from our experience. You can get insurance based products with network providers but these are aimed at consumers, not businesses and cost an awful lot these days and even then they’re not going to cover you like a true comprehensive service product that a Rugged PDA has.
You just got your shiny new application built, you just bought a bunch of MDM licenses to keep your devices safe and hey presto, the next iPhone comes out and you’s suddenly becomes unsupported! On average this happens every 12-18 months with the iPhone. New kit means new training, means harder IT support and it also means risk to your solution failing. If your business can be built on this type of roadmap then fine but a mission critical application rarely is.
5. Complex development
Xcode and iPhone/iPad development requires training, your web developers are probably not going to be familiar with it, you need Apple MACs to develop with it and getting your applications available and delivered is harder. COnsequently if you want iPhone apps built for you, they’ll be more expensive, harder to update and maintain and you’ll have a far harder time of it than if you found a WIndows MObile or even Android Rugged PDA.
So there we have it, just a few things to remember before committing to an iPhone. We love them and use them here for our team phones and as a general smart phone for calling, emailing and web browsing they’re great. But to run a mission critical application? unless you have in-house expertise, you;re going to struggle.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.