When the Apple team first invented the iPhone, it’s a toss up as to whether they intended it to be used for business, or pleasure; some may argue that the invention of Angry Birds is the definitive answer to this question, seeing as there isn’t a businessman alive that could have this game on his iPhone and not sneak away to the company toilets for five minutes of pig destroying, but still.
At iPhoneAppCafe, we run a weekly poll to see what our readers’ interests are; a couple of weeks ago, we ran a poll asking you this very question and the results were most illuminating. A whopping 76% of you said that you used your iPhone’s for pleasure, as opposed to the 24% that use it for business. This collates with another survey that was conducted by Compete in 2009, which asked 600 smartphone owners what they used their devices for. 73% of the iPhone owners in the survey stated that they used it as a device for entertainment and personal communication compared with 59% of the other smartphone users saying that their handset was for business.
But why is this? What is the reasoning behind it? Could it be that we are generation of thrill seekers, raised on a diet of MTV and computer games, with the empty promises of instant gratification from material consumerism shouting out from our TV screens every time a Nike advert is played?! Or could it be that it is the iPhone itself that is predisposed to lend itself towards the fun side of life, rather than the serious side?
While it’s true that Apple’s ethos has always seemed a lot more creative and adventurous when compared with its peers, the ability to access the Internet and send emails as well as impressive note taking apps such as Dragon Dictation mean that it does have the capability to perform business orientated functions. Despite this, the Blackberry still appears to be most business people’s weapon of choice, whereas the iPhone seems to be everybody’ guilty pleasure. Researching the case, we discovered some interesting opinions on the matter.
“Traditionally, you had a smartphone because you needed to do mobile e-mail,” said Danielle Nohe, a research director at Compete. “But now people using it for personal productivity. There’s a broader range of people who have reasons to use a smartphone.” This is a good point; with over 350,000 apps in the App Store, the contemporary cultural slogan, ‘there’s an app for that’ has never seemed more relevant. Perhaps it is simply a case of iPhone users having a wider choice of apps to use in their personal life, rather than being tethered to the impressive but ultimately limited business-friendly operating system of the Blackberry. One’s personal life is often a lot more varied and diverse than their business life, therefore there are going to be many more opportunities to use different apps in different situations, (e.g. finding a restaurant, social networking, checking train times), as opposed to simply using it for email and spreadsheets, etc.
With our society being as it is, social networking and smartphone usage have become a way of life rather than a lifestyle choice for a large amount of people. The fact that people are using their iPhones for pleasure rather than business is an indicator not only of the iPhone’s impressive range of entertainment and games apps, but also of how technology is becoming an integral part of the social world, as well as the business world. Companies have required computers to handle the running of their business for several decades now, whereas we simply needed to telephone our friends to organize our social life; now it seems that the iPhone has transcended both business and social spheres and given us a device that can control both. We’d just rather have fun with it…
If you are unconvinced and still reckon that use your iPhone for business, read our 10 Best iPhone Apps for Business.
If you use your iPhone for a bit of a giggle, try our 10 Funniest iPhone Apps Ever!