When I last wrote about SMBs and smartphones in June, an Access Markets International (AMI) Partners survey had found that 31 percent of U.S. SMBs considered smartphones "integral" to their business.
Twenty percent of the SMB smartphone users said they intended to upgrade to a new model in the next 12 months, while 11 percent of SMBs planned to buy their first smartphone during the same time frame.
Solution providers serving the SMB market confirm the trend in a CRN article published on ChannelWeb, though several folks interviewed in the article say SMBs often opt for mobile services geared more toward consumers than business. (This is not uncommon in any area of technology, as I wrote last June. SMBs' IT needs are often closer to those of tech-savvy consumers than to those of large enterprises.)
A desire to boost productivity is the main reason SMBs are showing more interest in mobility, says Mark Amszej, director of channel product management for RIM, maker of the BlackBerry. The company in November introduced a streamlined version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server called BlackBerry Professional Software because SMBs "really don't have a lot of time for managing and installing mobility solutions," says Amszej.