For companies investing in mobile technology, consumer-grade PDAs and smart phones have undeniable appeal. At one-half to one-third the price of enterprise-grade hardware, buyers may be tempted to accept the high failure rate, thinking they would have to replace a consumer-grade device three times over (which feels unlikely) before they could justify the cost of buying a more rugged, enterprise-class device.
This simple analysis can be deceiving — and ultimately expensive. Hardware acquisition and replacement costs pale in comparison to the true costs of a device failure in a business setting. For consumer-grade devices, more than 90% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) comes after the initial hardware purchase.