Why the Phone You Choose Can Affect Your Bottom Line
In the light of the recent RIM layoffs I got to thinking about how businesses go about selecting their handsets. A lot of business owners are invested in Blackberry devices. What would happen if RIM were to go away? In the early days of smartphones, it was easy, you bought a Blackberry because that was all there was. This isn’t the case any more. Between Android and Blackberry, iOS, Symbian and Window, there is a raft of platforms out there for business owners to choose from.
Choosing the right smartphones for your business is important and not just because of the fact that your workforce will be using them every day. The handset choices you make could have an impact on your bottom line, and considering the fact that, in Canada, business plans are structured around 3 year contracts, making a wrong choice early on could have substantial impacts on your finances for years to come.
When examining up-front costs it may seem like the best option for your business is just to get the cheapest phones you can for your employees. However stronger wireless savings may be available with a more expensive handset, and beyond wireless savings choosing the right phone could be a boon for your business in unexpected ways.
Cheaper Isn’t Always Less Expensive
This seems contradictory. However the truth is that cheaper phones are very frequently more expensive when you look at the big picture. I’ll give you an example:
Customer X has 10 employees and wants to get mobile phones for them. He mostly wants the devices for inter-office communication, so as long as the employees can call each other unlimited he doesn’t need many anytime minutes. He doesn’t care about internet access much but he wants his employees to be able to get e-mail.
He doesn’t think he needs smart-phones at all, after all, he just saw an advert about the LG TE365, it’s going for $0 and it can do e-mail, right?
And Customer X is right, the TE365 is a $0 phone. But he’s going to be paying $35 minimum for voice and text services, another $10 for voicemail and call display, and then $10 for “unlimited” data. In other words, each unit is going to cost $55 at the very least. The carriers don’t WANT to sell phones like this. They don’t want to maintain legacy infrastructure for out-moded 2G devices.
Now, on the other hand, if Customer X goes with a smartphone plan with a half-gigabite of data he can probably get equivalent service for $51. Furthermore, even if an entry-level smartphone costs an up-front cost of $50 the customer may qualify for special promotions and discounts.
With enough knowledge of the system and sufficient time and effort Customer X might even be able to get a carrier to pay him to use their service!
Getting money back above the cost of the phone, and also spending less for higher-tech services could mean that the “more expensive” smartphone option, when approached in the right way, is actually the option that will lead to greater business savings.
Beyond Business Savings
It’s not just about getting wireless savings though. When a business selects a smartphone even two options priced identically may have tangential impacts on their bottom line. When choosing a device there are some questions you should ask that could have a big impact on what devices you choose:
1) What will be good for morale?
If your employees are happy they are more productive. Do you have some big-time apple fans in your office? It might be worth it to morale to invest in the iPhone.
2) What is your product?
Here is where an awareness of the mobile market can impact your own business decisions. If you are a bookseller you’re probably aware of the app store controversy with apple. In a nutshell, apple now wants a 30% cut of revenue drawn in through click-throughs from iOS platform apps to third party stores.
Furthermore Apple expects that companies that use iOS apps will not undercut the price charged through the app if the media is bought through other channels.
If you are in the business of making or selling e-books what that means is that apple wants 30% of your profit from every person who uses an iPhone or an iPad to read your books. If you want to encourage people to use devices that don’t put those restrictions on your profit you may want to advocate for Android devices instead. If your employees are all sporting brand new Samsung Galaxy S II 4G superphones they will help you to do that.
Likewise, if you are in the video game business you might want to consider a niche phone like the gamer-centric Sony Ericcson Xperia Play.
3) What do you need your phone to do?
If you do a lot of data entry onto phones (e-mail and such) you might want to consider a Blackberry or a Windows phone like the LG Optimus 7. If you need versatile devices with thousand of apps that can be downloaded on the spur of the moment, as needs dictate, you may want to consider an iPhone or an android device.
If you intend to do a lot of reading from your device a 3.5 inch screen isn’t going to cut it. You might want to consider the Dell Streak, with its 5 inch display!
Optimizing Your Smartphone Selection
Choosing the right smartphone for your business is hard. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, and a wrong choice could be very bad for your bottom line. Get the help you need from MyCELLmyTERMS. Our wireless consultants are experts in the wireless marketplace. They know the devices, they know the plans and they can help you find the special promotions that don’t get offered in stores.
Using a wireless consultant can help you not only get the right business plans for your needs but also can help you get the right handset for your business needs.