As we have discussed previously, enterprises face a bewildering array of choices when considering mobile devices, with smartphones, netbooks, and other devices all having a role to play in the complex enterprise mobility space.
Field Technologies Online has recently published several articles furthering the debate, with a focus on the role of rugged devices in the portfolio. While smartphones with a more consumer-friendly design and feature set form a much better fit in the hands of executives, in many vertical markets rugged devices are a must, to provide mobile computing capabilities without being accompanied by huge repair or replacement bills.
It is argued here (registration required) that rugged devices, although more expensive than consumer products, can provide a lower total cost of ownership, with longer life-cycles and fewer outages. And it was suggested here that "it's important to evaluate the up-front cost of the devices along with the potential support and replacement costs you might incur by deploying a less-rugged device in a demanding environment".