Has BYOD Been Found Out? Sales of Corporate-owned Smartphones Surge

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Is the pendulum already swinging back towards corporate liable mobile devices Possibly A steady increase in corporate purchasing through the first three quarters of 2013 hints that enterprises are already rethinking how far BYOD will be allowed to expand.

BYOD remains a fast growing trend within mobile enterprises that has pushed volumes of new personally-owned mobile devices to increase each quarter throughout 2013, which makes it even more remarkable that the portion of new smartphones purchased for business use that are corporate-owned also increased each quarter throughout 2013, according to Strategy Analytics' latest business smartphone quarterly tracker.

More than 35 percent of Q3 sales of smartphones used for business purposes were corporate-liable, compared to 32 percent in the same quarter a year ago, and 31 percent in Q1 2013, which is a significant jump considering the steady growth of BYOD volume and the expectations that the trend would go in the exact opposite direction.

In total, 73 million smartphones were purchased in Q3 either by business users directly, or by companies for their business users, representing a 34 percent increase over total business smartphone volumes a year ago.

North America has been among the most liberal regions in its acceptance of the BYOD trend. The portion of new business smartphone sales each quarter that are personally-owned has been higher than those of any other region over the past year. But even in the North American BYOD hotbed, corporate-liable volumes increased nearly 13 percent in Q3 over the same quarter a year ago, which was a year of flat to declining volume for new corporate-owned smartphones.

"BYOD may very well be an unstoppable trend in many regions in the world, but the speed of its growth during a time when companies were still devising usage policies, discovering its management challenges and experiencing its impact first-hand, it's not too surprising that some momentum would swing back to corporate-owned devices", says Kevin Burden, Director of Mobility at Strategy Analytics. It is unclear if this is the start of a growing trend or just a correction after more than a year of lopsided adoption, but what is clear is that enterprises still want full control over the mobile experience of many of its users.

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