Smartphones investigate

50% of IT pros recommend Android to users, 32% iPhone

IT professionals are decisively recommending Android over iPhone to company employees, according to a new poll of TechRepublic members.

As the trend accelerates toward employees choosing their own smartphones -- bought with personal funds or subsidized by the company -- IT professionals are having to recommend a lot more smartphones to employees rather than buying them in bulk and handing them out. These same IT pros are also the tech experts that their friends, family, and neighbors have always turned to for tech buying advice, and the issue of which smartphone to buy is now the hottest topic.

With that in mind, TechRepublic -- which, of course, is one of the largest global communities of technology professionals -- recently polled members and asked which smartphone platform they recommend to average users. Fully half of the 2,692 respondents said that they recommend Google Android devices, while 32% of them recommend iPhone.

This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Techies themselves tend to be more disposed to open platforms and platforms that allow you more control and customization, which is why Android is so popular as among technologists. However, there's also a certain faction of technologists that have taken to recommending Apple devices -- especially in cities where there are Apple stories -- because when people have problems with their devices and come back to the IT pros who recommended them, the techies can simply point them to the Apple Store.

Of course, the Android/iPhone split left BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 to fight for the tablet scraps of the remaining 18%. Once the darling of IT pros, BlackBerry is now only recommended by 5% of them. That leaves 13% that recommend Windows Phone 7. While that may not sound like much, WP7 currently has only about 2% market share, so Microsoft should take that as an encouraging sign.

Here's the chart that shows the results:

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

33 comments
DT2
DT2

I've been in IT for over 25 years - mostly network infrastructure. Bought a Droid-X a couple of years ago. Ditched it about a year later and paid full price for an iPhone 4 the day after it was offered on Verizon. Might go back to Android if it ever turns into a "finished" product. There was too much that appeared to be raw and incomplete. I would love to be able to recommend an Android phone but, right now, I can't. And, all the CrapWare running in the background was irritating. Installed an app killer. I would shuit down apps and they would just come right back. I don't have Skype but the Skype app just wouldn't die. Had to create a gMail account whether I wanted one or not. At least with Apple iStuff you can use your own regular e-mail when you set up your app-store account.

TtFH
TtFH

It's a hard question to answer via multiple choice. I'd recommend an iPhone for most users because they're so easy to use, and harder to stuff up. But I like my Android, and would buy another for my own use, I'd recommend Android for my kids, but not for my wife or parents.

aflynnhpg
aflynnhpg

I can somewhat follow the logic there Jason, but I'm always suspicious that you are simply trying embed positive spin in your Apple articles. But I'll take this one at face value. Still, I would never recommend an iPhone though, because of inflexability and content control, and on and on. Ironically, even though I recommend Andriod devices, I get more people bringing their broken iPhone's and iPods, needing screen repairs or batteries etc, even though there is an Apple Store locally. What that tells me is that the cost for repairing the devices is preventing people from using Apple for actual repairs. And if you priced parts, screen replacemet for example, compared to having Apple supply the parts and service you can run your own numbers and see what I'm talking about.

Crash2100
Crash2100

That's because the IT Pros, for the most part, tend to be the more intelligent phone buyers, and actually research the phone they buy, instead of just falling for Apple's "pretty" phone that got beautifully hyped throughout the media.

gtatransam
gtatransam

Any IT pro that condones or encourages the use of apple products, is not a pro at all... more like a bungling amateur.

dgalbreath
dgalbreath

I ran a string on LinkedIn asking a similar question when migrating away from Blackberrys. The answer I received after reading over 100 responses was that the iphone is a better choice for users and the quality is very good. I started the migration using android bionic and razr followed by 2 apple 4s's. The apple devices are much slicker and the touch screens for typing are definitely superior. I may ditch the bionic once the next iphone comes out as the touch screen is difficult at best. Small sample but pretty clear results. If you require toys and gadgets the android is the route to take.

bobmatch
bobmatch

I had a Windows Phone 5.0 and it worked fine for years (In fact I still have it in a box just in case I need it.) The problem is I wanted to take credit cards using Square and a phone with a slide out keyboard. MS phone did not have nether then nor do they have both now. For $79 at Target I found what I needed in Android. It had a rocky start but with a few seamless upgrades it???s doing the job. I???m just not too happy that it???s not seamlessly messing with windows like my old phone did, but with the right apps it will do.

tbostwick
tbostwick

Maybe that's why we replaced a fleet of buggy, problematic Droid phones with all new shiny 4s' 99% of those who changed said they'd NEVER go back to Droid - and with the incredible connection to Exchange for users, one less headache to manage with products that are sold but unsupported or end of lifed in less than a year. Easy and a no brainer choice to have iPhone in IT-land

realvarezm
realvarezm

Like every good and complicated cause, Android is a misterious choise. The level of customization is better than any other platform and tweakin with it is unique to any other platform but that comes with a big cost. suppor! I love android in fact is the recommendation i give when people come to me, but let them know that is a new universe of know how to use this OS. The problem with us consumers nowadays is that we want everything with instructions like add water and put in the microwave for 2 mnutes. That is the strenght to certain way in Apple.

afvace
afvace

I'm not at the level of most of you guys on here. I'm a tech at Staples in school for CNS. Currently I get lots of questions from family, friends and customers. If the user is already a Mac user then IPhone is a no brainer. If the user is a PC user and not good with tech then IPhone or Windows Phone. The ease of syncing your data and "it just works" makes these devices best for those not tech savvy. If the user is tech savvy at all and isn't scared of their device I always recommend Android. The flexibility of the platform makes it more fun to play-with and satisfying when it works the way YOU want it. That being said I more often recommend IPhone cause I know I'll be the one helping them out when they have problems, with IPhone its hard to mess stuff up. On a side note, Multi-tasking is not good for a user who isn't even aware of what that is. They end up bogging down their phone cause they don't realize all the apps are still running. Kinda like in OSX. Users just click the red dot to close the window and end up having 20 programs open and not know why their Mac is running slow.

mwharper1970
mwharper1970

My company also started expanding smartphones to include iPhone as an option to blackberry, we looked at Android and found that it would likely increase the number of support calls and require more training for the user base than iPhone. We also found that the fact that Apple's governance in their app store provided us with more security for publishing in-house apps and corporate data to these devices without as much worry over some application steeling our data or infecting the devices with malware. With Blackberry's inevitable demise probably only a year away, we may expand to allow Android options as well. Perhaps a better question might have been...." which device do you prefer to support?" since releasing iPhones to our users, we have had little support calls because the devices are so intuitive and the OS and App store stability. Controlling these devices with an enterprise MDMA solution is very simple and offers some nice features, but Apple needs to expand these controls for Corporate environments

frank
frank

iOS all the way. There is good reason why Apple is swimming in cash and it's their close control of the iOS and appstore ecosystem. Techies may not necessarily like it, but they are harder on devices than general users and require more of the devices. A general user however, just needs something that works with the least amount of fuss that just works as intended. Apple has achieved this the only way possible, by manufaturing it's own hardware, developing it's own software to run it and closely scrutinising every third party app that goes on it. The opposite has been demonstrated by Android and Samsung, etc... From inconsistency with Android versions to flaky apps from the Market Place, to poor build quality of devices and in some cases lack of support (think Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v). Yes I may be biassed towards Apple (at least from an Android aspect) but it is with good reason. Android is not yet there and as long as they maintain their 'open' strategy, they may never be. Maybe Microsoft and Nokia can do better, one will see, but between Apple and Android, Apple is the the clear winner on almost every ground.

resmith2525
resmith2525

There's a reason why Android is recommended more In my house we have both Android and Apple devices. We have my daughter's Ipods, my wife's Ipad, a Nook, a Kindle, two Motorola Droids Razrs and an HTC Flyer. You can't deny that Apple makes a quality product. They have a consistent UI that is well defined, build with best in the world components and they have a cult like following. The reason I recommend Android products is for the following reasons: I believe in open systems whether it comes to economic, political or computer system. Apple is definitely in the closed market. I saw this the first time I tried to copy files to my father-in-laws Ipod only to discover hidden directories with unrecognizable names. Apple made it unnecessarily difficult. True Multi-tasking. I work for a Fortune 500 company and we have a choice of Ipod and Android. They experts in the mobility center recommend the Android. ???Good??? is the application used for connecting to the enterprise exchange system. The issue with the Apple is it won't download emails and sync the calendar until you turn it on and go to the Good application, causing long wait times. Android phones do this in the background. When you turn on the application, all the email is there, ready and waiting. You get more bang for your buck. With my Motorola Droid Razr I get a faster processor, bigger screen, kevlar back, ...

Michael_Spears
Michael_Spears

What we recommend to a friend and what we want to support and secure for the workplace can lead to very different answers. How many of us insist on Windows in the workplace, but run Macs at home? Other recent reports say developers are ditching Android for iOS simply for the revenue potential. No matter what our opinions are, this will continue to be an interesting topic to watch!!

roger
roger

Most IT professionals are the result of extreme conditioning, windows based training, and mass hype. As you point out, many of the smarter ones also gravitate towards the more open and manipulable devices and platforms. This tendency is becoming more prevalent with the continually increasingly exorbitant charges of Microsoft and increased availability of open source OS software and applications. It is also an unfortunate truth that a major failing of Apple has been, too often, a less than adequate consideration of third party developers. However, an inordinately large number of Android device owners and users will openly say that the devices don't match those of Apple for elegance, intuitive operation, smoothness, stability or reliability. Apple has, since the creation of the UNIX based OSX, moved significantly closer towards open systems and systems integration across the board. Prices of their hardware have dropped considerably and now compare more than favourably with those of their competitors and if one considers resale value, inevitably superior design and construction, contribution to use of recyclable materials and their outstanding reliability stemming from control over hardware and software integration - the real choice is a no brainer.

tomchick
tomchick

I find this rather amusing... and hard to believe.

mek804
mek804

Who recommended Windoze, and look how THAT turned out

whiplashm1
whiplashm1

The learning curve for an Android device vs that of an iPhone is really no comparison. For a user who is required to carry a mobile device to make their living, every minute they spend trying to figure out how to use it is costing them money, so it's really a no-brainer to recommend iPhone. To call IT pros more intelligent is actually pretty insulting to all the doctors who carry iPhones because it costs them about $20/minute if their time isn't spent practicing medicine. Seems to me that's a no-brainer, too. As far as the remark about how beautifully hyped it was; well, bravo, Apple. You were able to show the world how easy your device is to use to do all kinds of handy things. Was Android able to do that? No. Is that Apple's fault? No. I carried an iPhone 3G for about a year and a half. In that time, I don't think I spent more than about 2-3 hours doing anything on it related to solving a problem with the device. I now carry a Galaxy S2, and I think it's the coolest device on the planet because I like to tinker with it, but if I had to make a living using either of them exclusively for my communications, I'd be back in an iPhone in a heartbeat. I'd feel like a complete heel if I convinced someone to get an Android over an iPhone if they weren't tech savvy already,

mongocrush
mongocrush

Any IT pro that recommends products that aren't suited to the person using them is a bungling anateur. Just because we like using a product doesn't mean that it's the right choice for our users. I didn't like Apple either for the longest time, but I recommend their phones now because they make it easy to use.

Twilight23
Twilight23

How is apple overpriced junk? Apple products are likely overpriced but they are *FAR* from junk. They do exactly what Apple says they will do with an easy, intuitive interface. They are a (mostly) closed system but that means more security from malware (in the sense that it is much less likely that a user will download/install it in the first place). Contrast that with Android. For support, you not only have to look at the OS generally - you have to look at the customizations and support offered on the specific model (or at least the specific handset manufacturer). I have friends on their second or third Android phone due to major issues with support of their previous one(s).

aiellenon
aiellenon

Apple is a Monopoly in the entirety of their ecosystem, they do MANY things that the DOJ declared made MS a monopoly and nearly broke MS into several individual companies over. Not to mention price fixing and strong arming other companies through their strengths as a monopoly. By monopolizing the Hardware market for their devices, they have stifled the evolution of their eco system, look at the iPhone 3S and 4S, and iPad3. they were unable to come up with major improvements for any of those models over the previous. Everything Apple does is to rip off the consumer, they don't care about anything else. If they did, they would license their patents like the rest of the world. (excepting joint patent pools where they have no choice). The world should revolt and force Apple to license all of their patents. Especially after the crap they pulled with demanding Google release the Motorola Patents under the Fair use Act, I would have constructed a giant Android giving the middle finger and had it shipped to Cupertino...

admiraljkb
admiraljkb

You do realize that Foxconn manufactures Apple products (using Samsung parts at that), along with almost everyone else's products? The only properly differentiating thing with Apple is software. The Apple hardware is commodity and normally 1-2 years behind the top competing hardware (except WP which is even further behind). Software has always been the true differentiator between sometimes identical platforms underneath.

Mark.Moran
Mark.Moran

It's such a pity the iPhone drop calls when you hold it the wrong way. And apple's arrogance towards their customers during "Antennaegate" was even more of a pity.

mwharper1970
mwharper1970

We don't experience "long wait times" with our apple devices and synchronization to mail servers. My email downloads quickly, perhaps only .5 to one second before my email is all retrieved.

n.gurr
n.gurr

quite well for most people?

n.gurr
n.gurr

But I do not think we know what the Apple Malware situation is going to be like yet, it seems to only be just beginning. I have seen many competitions to compromise systems lost by Apple, although I cannot seem to see anything regarding them on the net. Mind you that was for desktops!

AppleJuicer
AppleJuicer

Sounds like you've got anger management issues. Maybe that's why your Mom doesn't you out of the basement anymore.

aflynnhpg
aflynnhpg

I thought it was little slave kids in China.

DT2
DT2

I've had an iPhone 4 since the day after it came out on Verizon. I've never had a dropped call unless i was in the canyons of Utah. Maybe you should switch carriers...

Twilight23
Twilight23

Only the iPhone 4 dropped calls. Apple is improving on customer communication (and less arrogance) - see the handling of Flashback. I still have a 3GS and have had no issues with anything. I thought about upgrading to the 4S but am still happy with what I have (I'll likely upgrade to the 5 when it comes out).

admiraljkb
admiraljkb

Yep. And the iPhone 4 as released wasn't approved by the FCC. Not sure why somebody didn't get in trouble (or even jailtime) for that one. The FCC is normally very good (or bad depending on viewpoint) about radio transmitters that haven't been properly tested and present a possible threat to the nations wireless space. As some old school RC hobbyists about run-ins regarding (mostly harmless) custom hw radio mods back in the day. Like swapping a crystal was that big of a deal? Really? And Apple got away with something far more blatant...

aflynnhpg
aflynnhpg

The 4 was highlighed and picked up by the media and perhaps had the worst of the dropped call issues, but every version has had issues. Google it. Apple put form over function when it came to iPhone design.