Employees continue to drive the trend towards Bring-Your-Own Device (BYOD). The number of employee-purchased devices was more than double the volume purchased as corporate assets by enterprises in first quarter of 2013, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.
In total, more than 62 million smartphones were purchased in the first quarter either by business users, or for business users, accounting for nearly 30 percent of global smartphone sales.
And while BYOD continued to grow in the United States, the report found that the trend has lagged in other parts of the world.
North America and Asia Pacific regions have been the most liberal in their approach but are still at different stages of tolerance. North America's BYOD volume increased 18 percent year-over-year in the quarter compared to a 77 percent increase in Asia Pacific.
Strategy Analytics posits that the extent of BYOD in any given region is better understood when measuring BYOD volume against total smartphone sales. More than 44 percent of North America's smartphone sales in Q1 are used in BYOD, compared to less than 19 percent in Asia Pacific.
Western European attitudes towards BYOD were far less liberal and showed a drop in a quarter that normally favors BYOD. For reasons ranging from costly roaming tariffs that keep opposition high among users, to the inability of operators to offer split-billing on data charges, Western Europe saw a 15 percent year-over-year reduction in first quarter BYOD devices, and a 43 percent increase in corporate liable smartphone sales.
Kevin Burden, director of mobility at Strategy Analytics, said that globally the BYOD trend entered 2013 with more momentum than it ever had in 2012, which was an exceptional year for the movement with close to 100 percent growth.
"A nearly 40 percent increase in the first quarter shows enterprises continue to embrace BYOD and downsides such as increasing internal support costs or losing operator support services from abandoning corporate-liable contracts has had little impact on the growing trend," Burden said.