Refurbished smartphones could hold promise for small businesses

Smartphones are expensive pieces of technology, albeit highly necessary for staff in order to stay connected regardless of location.

These are the vital links between employees and a business, allowing access to calling, messaging, email and even more specialised business applications thanks to growth in cloud capabilities.

However, they're also quite expensive, with certain models of smartphone climbing to around $1,000. Obviously, this can present a problem for smaller companies needing to tightly control funds, but also access capable mobile technologies.

Deploying refurbished smartphones

The answer to this problem lies with refurbished smartphones, devices that have already been used and then restored to near-new condition for further use. Given the current level of advancement when it comes to these devices, there's little difference between new and slightly older versions.

For example, while there were substantial performance jumps between versions in past years, now there are usually only minor hardware improvements to camera and screen technology – not exactly necessities for businesses.

In a new report from Gartner, the research organisation noted that the global market for refurbished phones sold to end users will grow to 120 million units by 2017. This is a substantial jump from the 56 million units in 2014.

Gartner explained that users are attracted to high-end devices that would have been unaffordable when new, but thanks to refurbishment see dramatic price cuts.

While consumers are the prime market for refurbished devices, there are also opportunities for small businesses.

As these companies usually have extremely tight control over finances, the ability to cut back when it comes such a significant expense is important.

However, it should also be noted that businesses need to implement such technologies with an appropriate degree of caution. This means using proven frameworks to ensure the devices meet the security standards of the business.