With all that’s happening in the smartphone world right now I felt compelled to ask the question we come up against here more and more as a mobile enterprise business,

The Rugged PDA market has changed so much over the past few years, indeed the term “PDA” seems to even be losing it’s relevance as a new wave of thumb and finger touting workers takes over from the iPaq and stylus generation. In the old days we talked about being Mission critical, which meant no change and committing to costly 3-5 year ROI and this meant that investing in rugged mobile devices made sense.  However I think we’re now seeing this philosophy being challenged by rapid innovation which is in fact so rapid today that you simply have to keep up. Can you seriously spend £1000+ on a rugged device and expect it to work for your business for 5 years?  Is it going to be able to deliver your business strategy for that time or will it simply lose touch?  To put that into perspective if we go back 5 years then we see the following features severely lacking in PDA’s:

  • RFID/NFC
  • Battery technology improvements
  • 3G/4G
  • 2D scanners
  • 4.3″ or larger screens
  • Capactive touch
  • 10MP cameras
  • Android and IOS!
  • Gorilla/Sapphire glass
  • IP rated cases for smartphones

You can also add to this that these days the Smartphone has simply become ubiquitous in our lives too so what if your competitors are utilising these technologies whilst you’re stuck for another 3 years? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of businesses and markets that this won’t worry at all and where a fully rugged beast of a device is still required.  But as innovation speeds up, do we need to change our attitudes to what we buy and when? I think we do.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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