Blackberries have become the defacto smartphone in most business and legal communities. This has a lot to do with email security, and a perceived lack of business applications on the part of the popular iPhone, however, a short survey we conducted has led us to believe that the next few years could contain a stronger wave of iPhone adoption across the professional world.
Young people who were in school when the first iPhone came out were able to choose the iPhone as their first smartphone instead of this decision being made for them by their company. This contrasts with the many individuals who have been accepting company phones for years. It is normal to become attached to the technology you are most experienced with and the millennials are no different.
This unique group of early iPhone adopters is now starting to enter the professional world and they’re taking their phones and their OS preferences with them. We thought it would be interesting to survey business school and law school students to see what kind of phones are currently used, ask why they chose them and to hypothesize on how this might impact the business phone market in the next few years.
Our survey included 114 business undergrad and graduate law students and was very simple. We asked them what kind of phone they had and why they chose it. A few interesting trends emerged.
One of the most interesting results was the surprising lack of smartphones in the law school. 46% of law students did not have a smartphone at all. This really blew our mind, especially when they showed us the old phones they use every day. Of the business students, only 16% did not have a smartphone. We surmise that law students are both poorer than the undergrad business students and, as graduate students, are less likely to still be on their parent’s phone service.
Overall, the iPhone handily beat out the Blackberry. Of 114 total respondents, 32% had iPhones compared to 19% with Blackberries. This result was expected, but more interesting is a comparison of the reasons why people chose a Blackberry as opposed to an iPhone.
iPhone users were more likely to say they chose their phone because of personal preference while Blackberry owners tended to choose Blackberries because their options were limited. Many reported that they chose Blackberry because it was the best phone supported by their or their family’s plan or because it was cheaper. In fact, only 5% of respondents said they chose the Blackberry because it was their preference.
This is important because it implies that young iPhone owners have overwhelmingly chosen their phone because they think it is the best, most advanced phone on the market, while young Blackberry owners tend to choose a Blackberry because they are restricted by price or their wireless contract. In the end, these Blackberry users will be less attached to their phones than iPhone users, who will want to continue using their iPhones as they become young professionals.
This information should inform action on the parts of all businesses that provide employee phones and phone service, as well as Apple, Blackberry and smartphone app developers.
These millennial professionals entering the workforce will expect to use the technology they are comfortable with. Apple and iPhone app developers should be doing whatever it takes to reinforce more widespread adoption of the iPhone and iPhone applications designed for business, while businesses should be open to adapting to the needs of this new wave of iPhone addicts.
The Bottom Line of this Contagious Behavior Survey
· 46% of law students and 16% of business students surveyed did not have a smartphone at all
· 32% of all respondents had iPhones while only 19% had Blackberries
· Only 5% of Blackberry owners said they chose the Blackberry because it was their preference (they thought it was cool or just liked it) compared to 44% of iPhone owners
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon