iPass Q4 Mobile Workforce Report

Today iPass released our Q4 2012 Mobile Workforce Report. In this report we interviewed almost 1,700 mobile workers across the globe to learn more about the mobile devices they use, how they use them for work and personal reasons and the impact that mobility has on their lives.

The focus of this quarter’s report is just how important smartphones have become to mobile workers. For those of us who have become attached to our smartphones, we can definitely empathize with that. Some of the items from this quarter’s report that really interested me is taking a look at what’s changed this year from when we asked similar questions last year. For example, take a look what smartphone mobile workers currently use:

Smartphone Enterprise Penetration MWR

What really grabs attention is the jump of Android-based smartphones from 2011 to 2012. While we’ve heard for a while that more Android smartphones are activated than iPhones, that has been more in the consumer space. In this quarter’s Mobile Workforce Report, we are definitely seeing evidence of Android picking up steam with the Enterprise mobile workers as well. iPhones are also picking up share — so what device is losing favor?

We can see here that BlackBerry devices lost share amongst mobile workers from 2011 to 2012, adding to this we definitely see mobile workers not looking to BlackBerry in 2013. When we asked mobile workers if they were planning to upgrade their smartphone in 2013:

  • 59% of mobile workers said they are planning on upgrading their smartphone in 2013
  • Of those mobile workers:
    • 41% were planning on upgrading to an iPhone 5
    • 22% to an Android device
    • 8% to a Microsoft Windows Phone
    • And only 5% to a BlackBerry device

Another really interesting data point is the impact of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) with smartphones. Last year we saw that 58% of Enterprises provided their mobile workers with an IT-managed smartphone. This year we saw that fall to 49% of mobile workers saying they had an IT-managed smartphone (33% said that they have an IT-managed device and an additional 16% said they have both an IT-managed device and a personal device), meaning that BYOD is definitely getting a foothold when it comes to smartphones, as more and more mobile workers are bringing in their own device.

There is a lot more data in this quarter’s Mobile Workforce Report, so I encourage everyone to check it out.

The last point I’ll leave everyone with is a warning to the Enterprise out there. When we asked mobile workers what their biggest barrier to working while mobile, the top response with 50% of responses was “Simple access to Wi-Fi when I’m out of the office”. However, when we asked these same workers what matters most when choosing a mobile network — ‘Speed’ and ‘Availability of Connection’ were at the top of the list and ‘Cost’ was at the bottom.

What that tells us is that mobile workers value that Wi-Fi connection while mobile, but cost is not their concern. I’ve always said that when a mobile worker is faced with multiple choices for connectivity they will go with whatever is easiest and most convenient, regardless of the cost. That is definitely reflected with what we are seeing with the data. The lesson here- to keep your mobile workers productive make sure they have convenient access to Wi-Fi, but keep an eye on that cost.

To learn more about how you can do that- be sure to check out iPass Open Mobile.

Get this quarter’s Mobile Workforce Report

Read the press release >>

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