Best of both worlds?
Most of you have probably encountered enterprise-class mobile devices if you've had something delivered by courier, but we doubt many of you lusted after one to replace your own smartphone.
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions (EMS) division of Motorola has identified the provision of an Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) that people aren't ashamed to be seen with in public as a potential niche in the market, and consequently launched the ES400 today.
At an event in London hosted by EMS VP and sales director Iain Clarke (pictured below), we were treated to a video address from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, so chuffed was he that someone's still launching Windows Mobile 6.5.3 devices. To be fair, there still seems to be quite a bit of life in that OS for enterprise use - not least due to its compatibility with Microsoft productivity software.
The ES400 essentially looks like a chunky BlackBerry, but the reason for that is it's properly ruggedized and can withstand being chucked about, although we weren't invited to put that property to the test. It's positioned as the ‘white collar' EDA - for field sales, retail, logistics, etc.
Among its key features are a special button that turns the camera into a barcode scanner, a ‘push to talk' button that allows one-click communication with a defined user-group, on-the-fly switching between CDMA and GSM networks, a stylus-optimised touch-screen and a special Motorola enterprise user interface.
In the US it will be priced at around $750, but it won't be available in the shops and will primarily be offered by the value-added reseller channel, in combination with bespoke software, targeted at vertical industries like retail, healthcare, insurance, etc.
As well as all the unique productivity benefits, it will be sold to enterprises as offering efficiencies when it comes to integrating with Exchange Server, rolling out software updates and so on, when it's made available in August.