5 Reasons Not To Buy An iPhone As Your Business Phone

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Because I work in technology I’m regularly asked by clients to recommend a good business smartphone. I have a Samsung S4 and it’s been a good friend. But it’s due for an upgrade and I’ve been researching options. And although there are some excellent choices, I shamefully admit that Samsung’s marketing for its new S6 Edge smartphone has romanced me. So I’ll probably upgrade to that next month. One thing’s for sure – at no time have I considered moving to an iPhone and I never recommend it to my clients. The iPhone is, of course, wonderful. And if you’re looking to use it for purely personal reasons then go for it. But there are five very good reasons why I wouldn’t recommend an iPhone if you want to use it as a business device.

There are more choices with Android operating systems. The iPhone is popular, but it still only accounts for about 14% of worldwide smartphone market share as compared to Android’s 79%. In actual numbers, 1.1 billion Android-based phones are expected to ship in 2015 vs. 237 million iPhones. When I search Verizon Wireless’ website there are 9 iPhones available as compared to 29 Android options made by six different vendors from Google to HTC to Motorola to, of course, Samsung. Android is an operating system that can work on many different devices whereas iPhone’s operating system iOS only works on devices made by Apple. Even though I’ve decided to get another Samsung I like having the flexibility to choose other hardware devices that fits my and my company’s needs and I don’t get that with Apple.

Android phones are cheaper. On Verizon’s site an iPhone 6 ranges from $650 to $750 full retail price. The Samsung device I want is even more expensive at $768. But there are plenty of other great and new smartphones from HTC, LG and Samsung that start as low as $120. If you want to equip your sales team with an inexpensive smartphone that will function as a reliable communications and messaging device and run a few key core apps, you’ll spend significantly less standardizing on Android devices instead of iPhones.

There is less learning curve. Although I’m likely buying the Samsung S6 Edge, if I change my mind and choose a device from Motorola, HTC or LG I know I’ll still be getting the same user experience. The features and prices of each phone may be different, but I know the look and feel is the same. My data is the same. My contacts, my calendar, my bookmarks are all synchronized wherever I go, so my (and my employees’) learning curve is significantly reduced.

Google is more business oriented. I regularly work with clients who love and use Apple products but have standardized on Google apps for their businesses. While Apple makes fantastic products for consumers, Google is more business oriented, offering more and better office, collaboration and communication apps for businesses, and all work well on Android devices. Google’s rapidly expanding Chromebook for Work program offers even more mobile computing options to the business owner, all Android based of course. And want more proof? Just about all of the well-known CRM, HR, project management and ERP applications for businesses have some integration to Google Apps, Gmail or Google Drive.  I rarely come across integration with Apple software. Most small business owners, like me, are still heavy Microsoft users. And although Office for Mac is almost identical to the Windows version, my unscientific perception (and real life experience) is that Microsoft still plays better with Google than with Apple.

Finally, Android is more customizable than iOS. Android is (mostly) an open-sourced operating system. iOS has many customizable components but still remains closed to developers. That means that if you’re really in need of a custom written mobile application for your business then you’re going to have the most flexibility using Android based devices. Android apps can come from anywhere whereas iPhone apps can only come from the Apple Store. But be careful – with more choice comes more risk and potential security flaws. For the typical business, particularly small businesses, none of this really matters and iPhones are perfectly fine. But if you’re one of the few that may need unique features from your smartphones then Android based phones will give you the most flexibility.

I haven’t purchased the S6 Edge yet…so there’s still time to change my mind. Anyone want to persuade me otherwise?

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