Rugged Mobile Computing Solutions

Enterprise Devices


What’s the difference?


Choosing the “Right” Device – An explanation of “enterprise” operating systems

Rugged mobile computing devices are used by individuals, municipalities, public works providers, foresters, and enterprises. Choosing the right mobile device for your specific application is important and the differences observed between devices are usually obvious and self-explanatory. What is not transparent however, is the “enterprise” label that some devices have. Here are some common differences between “consumer” grade and “enterprise” devices with regard to their operating systems (specifically with respect to the Android Operating System):

“Consumer Grade” or “Standard Version” Devices:

  • May have full access to Google Services including Google Maps, Google Mail, and the Google Play Store.
  • Do not focus on privacy, security and tracking ability.
  • Often grant the device manufacturer or cellular network provider permission to trace calls, access voice dictation commands, and report other user data to their servers for review.

“Enterprise” Devices:

  • Usually do not provide access to Google Mobile Services (“GMS”) including Google Maps, Google Mail, and the Google Play Store
  • Require a custom application to be created and/or deployed to the device versus “fetching” it from the app store
  • Depending on timing and release of the device may not have the newest OS loaded onto the device. They may have a slightly older OS version loaded that has proven to be more stable.
  • Focus on privacy, security, and the prevention of location tracking
  • Do not require cloud connectivity (which could promote user data tracking) unless authorized by the enterprise

Other attributes will also distinguish “enterprise” and “consumer” grade devices aside from the operating system differences and limitations. Some of these differences are outlined here:

  • The price of consumer grade devices (especially those with cellular network plans) will often be less expensive and the cost of the consumer grade phone for example will be spread over the term of a cellular network contract
  • Consumer phones may be restricted or “locked” into a specific carrier
  • Consumer grade devices usually require bulky after-market cases to make them more durable (the cases might significantly increase the overall form factor of the device and make it difficult to access all buttons and expansion slots)
  • ROI studies prove that the total cost of ownership of a rugged device is 3 to 5 times less expensive than a consumer grade device
  • Rugged enterprise devices are almost always more expensive than consumer grade devices but are purchased by businesses looking to make a one-time “smart purchase” due to the fact that rugged device life expectancy is 7-10 years on average. Consider disposable consumer grade devices which have a 1 to 2 year life expectancy before they are considered obsolete.
  • Consumer grade devices have operating systems that undergo frequent updates causing software incompatibility versus enterprise devices which undergo relatively few OS updates (it is common to see rugged devices with operating systems that are 10 years or older because enterprise software is designed for long-term use)
  • Rugged enterprise devices will often have a true barcode scanner or imager where consumer grade devices often have a standard camera capable of low-volume, low precision scanning
  • The most obvious characteristics of “rugged” versus “consumer” devices are their operating specifications. Extreme temperatures, high altitude ratings, dust intrusion levels, water intrusion levels, drop specs, vibration specs, outdoor display visibility, and other features that set rugged enterprise devices apart from consumer grade devices.

If you have any questions about this article or need assistance in selecting a tablet, notebook, PDA or cell phone, feel free to contact the experts at Titan Elite, Inc. – Tel. +1-855-848-2685 – Email: – Store: