Smartphone buyers rank network last

Michael Carroll
17 Nov 2010

The mobile network is the least important factor in smartphone purchases by business users, according to research by global internet roaming provider iPass.

Results of a global study of 1,100 mobile workers published today reveal that almost 75% of enterprise customers choose a smartphone based on its operating system compared to around 45% who make a choice based on the carrier and coverage available.

That places the operator behind factors including device battery life – rated by 63% of respondents – screen size (61%), and the number of applications available (49%).

Perhaps more worrying for carriers is that they don’t even make the top five list among users aged 34 and under, with only 36% of smartphone owners in that bracket referring to the coverage available.

“Across the board we are finding that carriers had less influence on smartphone selection, as mobile workers gravitated to the smartphones with the most features and functionality,” iPass states.

The firm predicts Apple and Android will replace BlackBerry as the prime mobile software among business customers, with nearly half of mobile employees stating they will buy an iPhone after their current contract expires compared to just 19% for BlackBerry.

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