Virtual file server company Egnyte is releasing BlackBerry and Android clients for its service, letting users of those smartphones get to the files in their online storage from their handsets. (The service already works on Windows PCs, Macs, and iPhones.) As part of the new rollout, the company commissioned a survey of small businesses about their smartphone usage.
Many of the results are pretty much of what you’d expect from a survey conducted for a storage company that’s announcing smartphone support: 74 percent of respondents, for instance, said that “accessing and sharing file server data via their smartphone would lead to increased productivity and better business decisions.” More surprising: 48 percent of the people who took the survey said that RIM’s BlackBerry is the most innovative smartphone, vs. 29 percent who said the iPhone is.
But one tidbit intrigued me the most: A quarter of the survey respondents said that they use their smartphones more than they do their PCs for business use. I’m not sure if that sounds low or high, but as smartphones get smarter over the next few years, you gotta think that many of us will come to see them as our principal computing devices, and consider traditional PCs to be the secondary, special-purpose gadget.
In terms of hours logged with each device, my laptop is still more essential to my work (and play) than my phone. Emotionally, though, I’m at least as attached to my iPhone as I am to any full-blown computer I own. When it’s useful, it’s exceptionally useful–and I sure spend less time futzing with it than I do with any Windows or OS X machine. And it gets the opportunity to save my bacon more often than my laptop does, because I take it absolutely everywhere. (As you may or may not know, I wear my phone around my neck on a lanyard so it’s always within reach and I never lose it.)