The mobile handset market is hot and increasingly becoming a part of the IT consultant's range of "expected" knowledge. There are too many combinations of products to be fully conversant with every aspect, but we do run into many common issues. We'll cover many common topics here, both technical and functional, on several popular smartphones.
Blackberry - Though less favorable in polls and forecasts in the last year or so due to popular products like iPhone, the Blackberry still is somewhat popular in the business environment. Although the BB10 (Z10 and Q10) are very nice products with modern capabilities, many clients have moved away from Blackberry in 2013. If your primary purpose is fast and secure email, the Blackberry is still a good choice for some, but their fate as a company in the long-term is unknown.
iPhone 4 or 5 - The most popular "consumer" phone over the past several years, we see many of these in business now -- a major change from just a year or so ago. The most notable features include an interface most users love, along with nice styling and that huge "app" store. Though due to tight Apple control over the app market, many applications are duplicates. Their biggest competitor is now Google.
Android - The Google-developed Android operating system is the latest up-and-coming smartphone platform, available not from just one vendor, but from a host of handset makers including HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc. Samsung has become the most popular producer, however, the Google-developed Nexus line of phones (Nexus 4, soon 5) and tablets (Nexus 7 and 10) provide a great, clean Android experience without contracts and we feel one of the better ways to go with Android. Still largely a "consumer" phone, it's strength of varied products can also be a weakness as there are variations and less consistency of features from brand to brand. They along with iPhone have taken much of the share away from Blackberry.
Windows Phone/Tablet - The newest generations of Windows Phone (8) are still a small factor but may be gathering a little momentum, especially in the tablet market where a hybrid tablet/laptop may be useful. On the handset, Windows Phone may in fact be the easiest to use, even compared to iPhone and the App store is slowly imporiving in quality and quantity of Apps. We think market share might improve in 2014!
Palm - The excellent Treo products of years past are quickly fading and the failed Pre and Palm Web OS which was their hope to generate new product sales was acquired by HP and died. Always enjoyed my Palm Treo but now just a technology that was!