Company-issued cell phones are making a comeback as employers fear security issues with everyday apps.
- Verizon Communications Inc. and Charter Communications Inc. reported more than 50% growth in business-phone customers in 2022.
- AT&T and T-Mobile didn’t release growth numbers, but AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches says the company has had a “tailwind” of subscriber gains.
- The new surge of work-dedicated phones comes as many businesses begin cracking down on security protocols and banning apps such as TikTok and WhatsApp, Bloomberg reports.
Why it’s news
Many companies across the U.S. have started cracking down on security protocols as commonly used apps have begun threatening inside security. To help increase safety, many companies have brought back a fad from the 2000s—company-issued cell phones.
From the 2000s to 2010s, company-issued phones were extremely popular because they didn’t have the amenities they do today. Back then, most people had a phone to call and text with, and the other was some form of a device that could send messages and emails.
When the first iPhone hit the market in 2007, it completely disrupted it. The iPhone came equipped with everything needed and was basically a computer, phone, and messenger all in one.
As the iPhone became more popular, businesses stopped issuing company phones as practically everyone had a phone equipped with everything needed on a work phone which was easier and came at less cost to the company.
Now company-issued phones are making a comeback as businesses fear many apps threaten the security of the business information on cell phones.
TikTok is an extremely popular Chinese-backed app with about 80 million active monthly users in America. Many businesses fear the Chinese government is using the app to get information from Americans.
Around 19 states partially banned the app from state-managed phones and devices due to rising concerns that China could use the app to get sensitive information, and the U.S. military also feared that the Chinese government could access information or locations through the app and banned all service members from getting the app on government devices.
There are other apps that spark concern over security issues, but by providing a company-issued phone to employees and ordering them to keep all business-related information on it, and allowing them to keep the apps on their personal phones, it is easier for the companies and does not make employees angry.
Verizon Communications Inc. and Charter Communications Inc. reported more than 50% growth in business-phone customers in 2022. AT&T and T-Mobile didn’t release growth numbers, but AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches says the company has had a “tailwind” of subscriber gains.
As more apps are revealed to cause security concerns, it is expected that more large businesses will also begin to issue company phones to employees.