SOURCE: Socket Mobile

October 23, 2007 06:30 ET

Report Proves Cost Benefits of Business Mobility Devices

Venture Development Corporation Study Reveals That Durable Handheld Computers, Such as the SoMo™ 650 From Socket Mobile, Offer Lower Total Cost of Ownership Than Consumer PDAs

NEWARK, CA--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - Socket Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCKT), dba Socket Mobile, Inc., an innovative provider of mobile productivity solutions, has announced findings of research into the real lifetime cost of mobile computing products used in businesses today. The independent study by Venture Development Corporation (VDC)(1), shows that consumer-grade handhelds result in up to 23 percent higher Total Cost of Ownership(2) than more business-specific durable devices, such as the SoMo 650 business mobility solution from Socket Mobile, when used in a working environment such as healthcare or field service.

The report illustrated that companies frequently underestimate the hazards mobile devices will be exposed to and that most organizations fail to do effective TCO analysis before selecting a mobile device. As a result, organizations select consumer devices based on lower upfront costs, but eventually pay for their decision with shorter product lifecycles and lost productivity. The report showed that mobile device failures typically result in an hour of lost user productivity and an hour spent on internal support time, with durable devices requiring less support time: The average amount of time internally spent on each failed unit is 53.5 minutes for a durable handheld compared with 64.5 minutes for a consumer-grade device and 61.8 minutes for a smartphone. Additionally, the average monthly failure rate for durable devices is lower: 2.1 percent compared with 2.5 percent for a consumer handheld and 2.8 percent for a smartphone.

"The need for a standard approach to TCO analysis of mobile devices is clear. Time spent on proper evaluation of mobility solutions would result in considerable cost savings for organizations," said David Krebs, director of the Mobile & Wireless Practice at VDC. "Our research shows that, while consumer devices such as smartphones and PDAs, are popular among professionals, companies need to consider how they will be used and the cost implications before making a decision. The results show that more ruggedized devices often offer organizations the best value overall, with durable handhelds representing a strong option for several markets and applications."

Smartphones, in particular, illustrated the issue faced by businesses. Although smartphones are the least expensive devices to deploy and require the least training, they fail the most often, cost organizations the most when failures occur, have the shortest lifespan and are twice as likely to be stolen than the average handheld or notebook. In total, initial purchase price represented only 7% of TCO for smartphones.

"The VDC report clearly illustrates the need for mobility solutions developed specifically for business usage," said Bob Zink, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Socket Mobile. "Socket Mobile is directly addressing this requirement with the first business mobility device to fill the gap between consumer-grade products and fully ruggedized industrial options. The SoMo 650 offers the durability, reliability and integration capabilities necessary to lower TCO while still in an easy-to-use, portable, consumer-like form factor."

Other key findings of the report included:

--  Only 31.6% of organizations conduct TCO analysis during the mobile
    decision-making process.
    
--  The two leading sources of device failure are cracked displays and
    damaged hard drives. Drops are the leading cause of failure.
    

VDC's report, entitled 'Total Cost of Ownership Models for Mobile Computing and Communications Platforms', is available from http://www.vdc-corp.com/PurchasedDownloadFile.asp?type=brochure&id=2023

(1) VDC, June 2007

(2) Based on analysis for healthcare organizations showing that TCO over five years for durable devices was $17,733 compared to $21,209 for a consumer handheld or PDA; and in field service, TCO over five years for durable devices was $ 20,723 compared to $25,407 for a consumer handheld.

About Venture Development Corporation

Venture Development Corporation (VDC) is an independent technology market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in a number of industrial, embedded, component, retail automation, RFID, AIDC, datacom/telecom, and defense markets. VDC has been operating since 1971, when the firm was founded by graduates of the Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today, we employ a talented collection of analysts and consultants who offer a rare combination of expertise in the market research process; experience in technology product and program management; and formal training in engineering and marketing. VDC's clients include thousands of the largest and fastest-growing technology suppliers in the world and the most successful investors participating in the markets we cover.

About Socket Mobile

Socket Mobile makes mobility computing and productivity work. The company is a one-stop supplier of mobile computing hardware systems, offering a handheld mobile computer specifically designed for enterprise use and an extensive portfolio of essential mobile data collection and networking peripherals that enable mobile automation and productivity increases for small to medium deployments. The company also offers OEM partner solutions and software development programs. Socket is headquartered in Newark, Calif. and can be reached at 510-933-3000 or www.socketmobile.com.

Socket is a trademark or registered trademark of Socket Communications, Inc., dba Socket Mobile, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names contained herein may be those of their respective owners.

© 2007, Socket Communications, Inc., dba Socket Mobile, Inc. All rights reserved.