This academic year, colleagues have noticed a growing number of blackberry smartphones around MMU. Our survey of students’ mobile devices, which will be published in conjunction with a number of other universities in 2011, has revealed blackberry as the most popular student smartphone (see Mobile Survey Highlights to the right). This growth appears in part to be linked to the appearance of keenly priced deals from providers like Virgin (15GBP per month for 24 months) and Orange (20GBP per month for 24 months) for the Curve 8520 with free handset, email and internet. We plan to interview our students to find out more.
So far, over 1,700 students have download our myMMU-mobile app for the iPhone; this has generated a lot of comments about when the native Blackberry version will be appearing. The question is: which blackberry operating system version to target?
To help us answer the question we have analyzed the hit logs from our myMMU SharePoint portal for this academic session. Whilst not a mobile site, we were surprised to see that it had been accessed from a number of different blackberry browsers. There are some hits from late model OS4 devices. The majority are from OS5 and only 2 of the 83,697 hits analyzed were from an OS6 device. As the attractive deals on blackberry handsets are for two years and for devices capable of running OS5 (but not OS6), we suspect that the platform to target for student users should be OS5, rather than the newer OS6. What do others think?