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Understanding the Product Life Cycle of a Smartphone

The product life cycle of a smartphone is not just about physical attributes; it is heavily impacted by software in order to ensure security, reliability and continuity. So, when deploying smartphones, enterprise mobility managers should think about not only protecting the device itself, but also whether it will continue to be supported by the manufacturer with ongoing firmware and security updates.

Making the right decision about which smartphones to deploy within your business is critical, and a major part of that is ensuring the model you choose will continue to be available and supported for business continuity. With the Galaxy Note8 and Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition smartphones, Samsung addresses this pain point, giving businesses an extra level of reassurance thanks to its commitment to two years of market availability (from date of general availability) and three years of monthly security updates.

For IT, fewer device models in circulation and longer periods between transitions makes sense. Not only does standardizing on one device make the mobile fleet easier to manage, it makes compatibility testing with corporate applications simpler.

So how long should enterprises keep smartphones before replacing them? Here are a few things to consider:

Hardware and Software

Smartphones today are slim and lightweight, yet are more robust than ever before. Many phones today feature IP68 water and dust resistance, and gone are the days of slide-out mechanisms or telescopic camera lenses which can break. Smartphones today are much more durable, but they aren’t unbreakable.

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Employees dropping their phones can result in cracked screens, although the presence of hardened glass in combination with a protective case has significantly helped reduce this problem.

While your smartphone’s screen, camera and processor may last for many years, it is key to recognize the importance that software updates play in ensuring that your employees’ devices remain reliable and working effectively.


The product life cycle of any smartphone can be cut short when software updates don’t happen regularly or are not fully completed. An enterprise’s corporate mobile device policy should ensure that employees keep their smartphones updated at all times.

One of the most important reasons to keep your smartphone’s software up to date is to ensure that you have the latest security measures in place to protect against a wide range of cyberattacks. To help companies protect their investment, Samsung provides support for monthly security updates for three years from general availability. With this setup, IT departments won’t have to worry about running outdated security software or that they’ll have to change their update protocol to continue supported versions.

Keeping Up-to-Date

As we have seen, aging smartphones can cause problems for IT administrators and CIOs, especially when it comes to continuity and reliability. You don’t want your employees in the office and on the road with smartphones that simply don’t work as they should, causing delays in communication and document review. In many cases for mobile workers, if there is an issue with a device, work may have to be completely suspended.

By keeping on top of how your smartphones are operating and listening to feedback from those who are using the devices, administrators can ensure that devices are replaced long before they become a burden to employee workflows.

See how enterprise mobile solutions are changing the way that employees work on a daily basis.

Posts By

David Gilbert

David Gilbert specializes in covering the global smartphone industry and the dangerous world of cybercrime. David previously served as European technology editor at the International Business Times, and as Technology Editor for the UK edition of IBTimes for over three-and-a-half years, where he earned the prestigious Digital Writer of the Year award at the Online Media Awards in 2013.

View more posts by David Gilbert