According to recent research, 234 million people in the U.S. over age 13 use a mobile device, and 65 million own a smartphone. By 2012, business mobile users will make up more than 30% of all subscribers in the United States.
In 2009 and 2010, an influx of high capability smartphones and similar handheld computers reached an eager marketplace. Sales of such devices were strong and based on the strength of demand, more producers released even more devices on a variety of operating systems (OSs). The initial popularity of the Apple iPhone was eventually matched by the Google Android OS, while older platforms such as the Research In Motion BlackBerry maintained a significant, albeit shrinking, market share. Many consumers began looking for ways to use their new devices to improve and streamline work-related processes such as checking email. And while employers generally understood that mobile email and other work processes would increase productivity and employee satisfaction, supporting a wide variety of device types and operating systems would be complex, introducing security risks and high costs.
Companies are now seeking ways to extend a business process with utilisation of device technology and features to enhance and en-rich the process - such as taking pictures of field equipment, bar-coding and scanning through mobile devices, track and trace through GPS, voice control amongst others.