Midmarket: Affordable Android Smartphones for Small Businesses
While Apple's slick iPhone continues to make a huge impact on the consumer market and Research in Motion's Blackberry devices remain the darling of the business world, Google's open-source Android mobile-operating system offers small and midsize businesses many of the same features and functionality without sticker-shocking prices. Top handset manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and LG all offer Android-powered devices from major network operators like Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint Nextel. Android smartphones offer a variety of features to increase productivity and communicate with business contacts, but keep in mind that many of the best deals require a two-year contract and additional discounts through online sales. The Android operating system took 29 percent of U.S. smartphone market share in January, breaking a statistical tie with Apple's iOS and BlackBerry platforms in growing 2 percentage points from December. However, Nielsen data also noted that while Android handsets might have a slight edge over the iPhone and BlackBerry-powered gadgets, RIM and Apple lord over other device makers, "since they are the only ones creating and selling smartphones with their respective operating systems."