Life Span of Mobile Devices
A software house develops an application for a 7″ tablet computer. The users want a cheap reliable tablet and a tablet is sourced. The problem lies in the word “cheap”. A cheap tablet can still be somewhat reliable depending on use and with the hundreds of budget tablets flooding the market there will be some.
A cheap tablet means a consumer grade tablet, and with consumer grade items means a limited product life span. Technology is quickly progressing in the tablet and smartphone markets. Upgraded processors are regularly released and internal parts like cameras, NFC, storage, speakers frequently upgraded.
How Long Will My Device Be Available ?
Manufacturers of consumer devices make no commitment to the lifespan of a product. Take for iPhone 6 & 6s for example. Images and specs of the iPhone 7 were leaked soon after the 6 was released. A manufacturer will deem the product a viable option in the consumer marketplace until competition means the unit will need to upgraded or replaced. This could be a 1 year cycle, sometime more, sometimes less.
Enterprise grade mobile devices look at this issue from the other side. Devices are built for a purpose be it warehouse scanning, field service or another vertical. Maintenance contracts can be bought for the units extending their lifespan, plus spares will be available for several years afterwards.
Whereas consumer units are usually on break and replace pair, enterprise units are based on a break fix repair. And that cycle is getting shorter and shorter.
Touching on the software briefly, if a device is changed it is possible the software will need to be altered. Customers are less likely to remain loyal should they need to buy a new tablet each year to continue using the software.
Selecting a cheap tablet has its advantages for cost, there are better alternatives to ensure long term solutions.