Industrial Devices vs Consumer, What’s the story

With expensive Industrial handheld devices costing the thick end of a big wedge you can’t help but wonder when consumer devices will replace them, or if the manufacturers will cotton on and change their models.

An Internec CN50 ruggedised device is without doubt durable, well made and will cope with what a hairy truck driver can throw at it, or throw it in, but at that price it damn well should.

I’ve spoken to sales people who actually use the CN50 and they tell me it’s a great device and they can work quickly and efficiently with it, but on the flip side it costs more than twice as much as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S device, which is pretty well stacked on the hardware front.

Here’s the thing, in the past oem’s relied on major developments of applications on platforms like windows mobile and the support and lifecycle was such that you were in effect locked in, now Sales Rep type applications are becoming disposable they have started supporting Android and iOS it becomes compelling, plus you don’t need to provide the rep a phone on top.

Throw in an Otterbox and your ruggedised. Otterbox

Motorola have recently launched a device that runs Windows Mobile or Android, is that being flexible or hedging their bets? Plus Microsoft have not exactly made it easy with their complex array of platforms, CE, Windows Mobile, Phone7.

So here is my prediction,

Sales reps, posties and white van man may well in the future be sporting a desirable consumer device, because it’s cheaper, easy to obtain applications that run on it, and because it’s desirable it may well be in his pocket, rather than left on the roof when he drives off because he actually likes it. (or she to be P.C)

Like much in mobile, let’s see what happens.