$99. That doesn’t get you much these days. My dad, bless his soul, used to tell me when he could buy a loaf of bread for $.05 (mind you, he was born in 1930). He also told me he walked uphill – both ways – to school, but I digress.
Nowadays, you can spend $100 pretty quickly at a bar or restaurant or on tickets to a baseball game or concert. $100 just isn’t what it used to be. However, Verizon Wireless announced this week that almost all its smartphones will now be $99. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. I do wonder if it will open up Pandora’s Box in the context of enterprise mobility.
Now mind you, I think this is a GREAT move on Verizon’s part. It’s clear that this was a move in response to AT&T offering the iPhone for the same price. I’m sure the folks at Verizon Wireless (and the other carriers for that matter) are always weary of what AT&T and Apple are up to with the iPhone pricing strategy.
That said, the $99 price point will make getting your very first smartphone that much easier. Hallelujah people, I love it! This means more people will be experiencing the power that mobility can provide them from both a personal and professional perspective. For the record, I for one can NOT imagine my life at this point without a smartphone and all the additional applications that come with it (GPS mapping has saved me more than once).
Again, this is a great move from Verizon. It will help clear out inventory on devices that may be sitting on shelves longer than they would like, but also gets people to start spending more on data plans, thereby increasing the all important ARPU. So, more people will be getting data plans and will want to connect their device to their work email – great stuff right? Not so much…
Verizon Wireless has added fuel to the ever increasing fire of the consumerization of enterprise mobility. This is not a bad thing, per se, but does now increase the burden on an organization’s IT department. This consumerization of enterprise mobility is increasingly synonymous with individual liable or employee liable devices. Great if you’re a company that is trying to reduce capital or operational expenditures…in the short run. However, more devices that are accessing sensitive corporate data (and don’t think email isn’t sensitive) creates more potential hassles and complications for companies.
The $99 price point in many respects is going to force the IT department’s hand to deploy mobility management solutions that much sooner - regardless of whether the device is employee/individually liable or corporate liable. That device still needs to be managed (to a certain extent), whether it’s baseline device management or through deeper capabilities that will extend to application and security management. This is absolutely critical in my opinion. If companies don’t accelerate their adoption of mobility management solutions, they could very well regret that decision in the (not so) long run.