By Ben Weiner, CEO, Conjungo

There are a number of options now available for people and organisations choosing their mobile phones. Traditionally, the first choice was the phone itself. These days while it has a major influence, so does which mobile phone operating system because to a large extent this will dictate which applications you and your organisation will be able to use.

There are four main players in the market, Android, Apple, Windows and RIM (Blackberry). Naturally people have their own preferences generally because they may well be used to a particular system. The fact remains though, is that they are all extremely good and effective.

Personally, I believe that before you chose which system is for you, you will need to get a clear understanding of what is actually required. All systems support mail and multiple email formats, how this is achieved will depend on then phone model plus which is your preferred system. I believe that they all support most business applications and can be used to access apps including CRM, ERP calendar etc.

Frankly, many applications are not for business use, and by that of course I mean games and entertainment software. Ironically, while these are not ‘must have’ features, they do play a part in the decision making process. Blackberry at one time was the phone and standard for business use. Why? Because it was perfect for business users allowing secure email and other business apps that could be easily accessed using the device and handy QWERTY keyboard.

Through the evolution of mobile operating systems by companies including Apple, Android, Microsoft and RIM, ‘touch type’ screen technology has been developed. This method of inputting data and navigating menus, are to many people preferable as they believe that touch screens allow for a greater degree of flexibility than a keyboard can provide. It also allows users access to a wider range of applications.

That said, many people who own Blackberry’s swear by them! Indeed people I know that have used them for years make the argument, which I fully understand, which is that Blackberry’s are easy to use, secure and a business tool. As a result they do not need to have a plethora of applications i.e. you’re using it for business and therefore it should remain just that and not as a device used for entertainment purposes.

It is ironic then that demand now is driven by the need for entertainment yet the Blackberry is still the choice of many. It has developed into the multi-faceted tool combing both functional keyboard and touch screen. While many gravitate to Apple, Android and Windows you would think that most kids would prefer them but my children for example all use Blackberry’s.

There are many applications available for Apple and Android and the market is growing for Windows for Mobile apps.
So which one is best for you? Difficult question: The key questions that you need to ask are:

- Do you want a touch screen device?

- Do want touch screen and hardware enabled keyboard?

- Will you use it for multi-media applications?

- What type of apps do you need for your business?

The choices are vast and can be complex but all have their merits. The key is to be pragmatic. You can have a mobile phone that does all but there’s always a compromise so chose the solution that best suits your business needs and not what has the most applications or functions that are either never going to be needed or not going to improve your business.