Love and hate. Those are pretty much the only two emotions tied to Apple’s iconic iPhone. Those that love it will praise the UI, web browser, huge display and multi-touch. Those that hate it will lament all day about the iPhone’s lack of physical keyboard, quality camera and feature-lacking iPhone OS. Whatever camp you happen to be in, there’s no denying the iPhone’s game-changing rise to fame. But, a new study from Compete claims that for all its user appeal, the iPhone is mostly used to play, not work.
A comparison of 600 smartphone users found that 73% of iPhone owners used their iPhone mainly for entertainment purposes. In contrast, 59% of non-iPhone smartphone users considered their smartphone more of an enterprise device. From that data, Compete claims that the iPhone is more of a personal device than business smartphone. But, that’s not the only way to look at the data.
The iPhone makes it easy to access information and interact with online service. More so than any other mobile platform. The key is usability and availability. There’s no denying the iPhone OS as intuitive and user-friendly. The App Store stocks well over 25,000 iPhone apps (even if the majority are crap, that’s still a lot of really useful software). Of course people are going to take advantage of all that “entertainment” built into the iPhone. That doesn’t mean iPhone users don’t use their smartphone for business. The iPhone just happens to have more “fun appeal.” And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Here’s the take-away from the Compete study. Most non-iPhone smartphone users view their smartphones mainly as enterprise tools, not because it’s better at doing “business,” but because those handsets lack a certain degree of “fun appeal.” Still, don’t discount the likes of HTC and Nokia. Their latest smartphone offerings are blurring the lines between work and play – they just have to work on bringing their respective UIs up to speed.