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Android vs iOS vs Windows for Mobile Warehousing

Comparison Report 2021: Which is best for Enterprise Warehouse Mobile Applications, Android, iOS or Windows Mobile.

We last did this report back in 2017 and has there ever been a shift. Android was emerging as a leader in Enterprise, and now in 2021, it has grown this lead further and further. Here's where it stands today


Windows Mobile

Microsoft has essentially abandoned Windows CE and Windows Mobile and unfortunately there is really no upgrade route. Microsoft replace Windows Mobile with Windows Phone, although this is aimed at the consumer market rather than enterprise. Windows may make a comeback into the market, although there are no signs of this yet. Microsoft are now encouraging users to move to Android or iOS and install Microsoft apps on those platforms.


  • Unfortunately now the platform is not supported, there are no reasons for choosing Windows Mobile.


  • No future for Microsoft Mobile in the Enterprise market so this does pose a problem in upgrading your hardware down the track
  • With no future in Windows Mobile or Mobile OS, app developers will begin to not bother creating a Windows version of their app, focusing only on Android and iOS.



iOS is naturally unique amongst this group, in that Apple only allows iOS on its own hardware. This does mean you’re not going to find purpose built rugged barcode scanners running iOS. It has however, opened the market for 3rd parties to develop an array of sleds and attachments which can transform a standard iPhone into an enterprise grade device. If you’re already very familiar with iOS then this can be a good option. It must be considered though that anytime you attach an add-on onto another device, it will never feel as solid or ergonomic as a device designed specifically for the intended use.


  • Simple to use
  • Can use an existing iPhone which allows for simple upgrades over time
  • iOS isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you’re future proofed
  • Some great enterprise apps and platforms have been designed for iOS


  • Cost- once you add the cost of the phone and 3rd party attachment, you will not get much change from $1600 USD
  • Ruggedness- an iPhone in a sled, is still just an iPhone in a sled. So there is only so tough and rugged it can be built
  • Limited choice. You’re limited to the few companies which produce 3rd part add-ones for the iPhone


Last but certainly not least. Android has gone from strength to strength in the Mobile Enterprise market over the last 3 years. This has been mainly down to 3 reasons. The slow death of Windows Mobile, the increase in Android use within the consumer market and finally, the increase in enterprise apps being developed for Android. Where once enterprise app developers would just develop and app for only iOS or only Windows, most now realize they need to develop 2 versions, one for iOS and one for Android.


  • Android being open source allows for purpose built barcode scanners which means there is a broad range to choose from
  • Easy to use
  • Android is growing well in the consumer market, so it is future proofed
  • Increasing number of enterprise apps available on Android
  • Hardware is generally more cost effective then iOS solutions


  • The Android market is somewhat fragmented with devices running different versions of Android- be careful you purchase a unit you know is compatible with your software choice


ScanSKU develops and manufactures held-held Android Based Barcode Hardware Solutions. ScanSKU partners with app and software developers in Inventory, POS, Asset Management and Mobile Invoicing Industries, to ensure the customer can begin using the solution right out of the box.