Why do we use the term 'Device Profiles' ?
What constitutes a supported device in a mobile forensic product is an area of considerable confusion for a lot of customers. We are aware that several different vendors have chosen to define their support differently and this leads to difficulty in doing objective comparisons. It gets even more confusing when you discover that different products extract different amounts of information from the same devices...
The number of phones claimed as supported is no real indicator of the actual quality of a product, so it has started to become a bit meaningless as a way of explaining support in mobile forensics.
We faced the same problem recently and that is why we have now switched terminology away from using the term “Phones Supported” to use the term “Device Profiles” to try and explain more clearly where improvements are occurring in our product range.
Why did we do this? – Well consider this example:
If in January we offer Logical extraction support for 2,000 different mobile phone handsets and then on our next release in March we do a lot of development work on physical dumping of these same handsets and include 500 of them with physical dumping extraction, then on the next release we still only support 2,000 different mobile phones?
If for the next release after that we then focus on the automatic physical decoding of these same 500 phones that we just released physical dumping support for, then after the second release in June, we still only have support for 2,000 different phones?
So after six months research and development work and 2 new releases - the phone support count remains exactly the same? That’s not very helpful for anyone, so we decided to change the terminology to more accurately reflect the work involved and where the improvements are being delivered to users.
Using the term "Device Profile" in the same scenario above, we can now show that we now have support for 2,500 device profiles in March and 3,000 device profiles in June - where a device profile describes a different level of support for the recovery of data from a specific mobile device (albeit that it may be the same device).
To us this seems a much fairer way of measuring what a product does in mobile forensics. So that is why we now use the term “Device Profile” and not “Phones Supported” in our documentation.
It's nice to see at least one of our competitors has followed our lead recently and now also uses the same terminology; now if we can just agree exactly what a device profile includes and does not include....