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Some executives and employees are leading the push to get their companies to adopt or support the iPhone.  (Source: CC Cristiano Betta)

Analyst predict RIM's business mobile phone share to shrink slightly in the next 3 years, and Microsoft and Apple to both grow business phone marketshare.  (Source: J. Gold Associates)

Apple offers Enterprise Hero and 200 other applications on its App Store. These applications are starting to stir up more interest in the business community.  (Source: Apple)
The business sector, long wary of Apple, is taking note of Cupertino's latest offering, the iPhone

Apple has shown terrific growth over the past decade after virtually collapsing in the early 90s.  However, one segment that it has never really been able to win back is the business sector.  Not since the days of Apple IIe's or further back has Apple really enjoyed strong business adoption.  And the business sector, consisting of everything from business laptops, to servers and business phones, is a huge revenue source so this was a big loss for Apple.

However, Apple's hottest gadget, the iPhone is finally starting to win Apple a following in the business community.

One big boost to the devices newfound corporate loving was the series of business friendly software programs for the iPhone 3G which was released in July.  However, even after this release, most businesses' top brass still prefer RIM's Blackberry to the iPhone. 

The real gains for the iPhone in business have been in fact forced by guerilla movements within companies by employees.  Top executives and younger users alike are finding themselves drawn in droves to the new device and while at first they may not look at it as a possible business tool, it’s starting to slip into their business lives.

A handful of companies, such as Genentech and Disney, mostly with ties to Apple, have decided to adopt the iPhone companywide as a communications tool.  Such decisions are not hurting Blackberry significantly, as they often come from companies that had not previously adopted a smartphone in mass.

The iPhone also has a ways to go.  Currently 65.5 percent of business support RIM phones, 22 percent that support Windows Mobile devices, and a mere 10 percent support the iPhone.  Some firms, like Los Angeles law firm Allen Matkins, still only support Blackberries as they say supporting the iPhone would be too expensive.  Says Allen Matkins CTO Frank Gillman, "Our reasons for not doing so have more to do with the age-old issue of having a finite number of internal resources to support our firm's technology. Given our already significant investment in BlackBerry, we cannot make a strong business case for adopting yet another platform."

One major obstacle is Apple's reliance on only one carrier.  Many large companies have special partnerships with specific carriers which give them discounts, and often these carriers aren't AT&T.  Also, security and number of business applications on the device, while improved are still questioned.  Research firm Gartner gave the iPhone a “thumbs up” for businesses, but said these areas needed work.  A combination of the iPhone's Safari browser with security certificates can provide a fairly safe solution for document viewing on the go, however, with rising use this may be problematic as the Safari browser has shown itself to be easy to exploit in the past.

Apple does currently have 200 business-related programs on its App Store. Many businesses, though, feel uncomfortable installing iTunes on all their computers, when they're nervous enough about letting employees access standard news sites like ESPN.com, CNN.com, or DailyTech.com.

Apple has posted some impressive numbers, nonetheless.  Over 33 percent of the Fortune 500 participated in Apple's iPhone 2.0 software beta testing according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.  Increasingly companies are giving users the choice of several smartphones.  A perfect example of this is Chicago law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, which gives select employees a new AT&T smartphone of their choosing every 24 months.

Smaller, less restrictive businesses, according to observers, are the largest group of companies warming up to the iPhone.  Many businesses are adopting a philosophy that employees both at work and at home must mix productivity and fun, something the iPhone can do much better than some of its competitors.  Sonnenschein's CIO Andy Jurcyzk states, "Other devices are just hardcore e-mail devices, and even at that they don't render the messages well.  I travel a lot and it's nice to have a personal aspect to my life, to look at photos of the family, to listen to music, or watch a movie. It's nice to have that other stuff."

Some are predicting that the biggest competitor to the iPhone will be the Blackberry Storm, which debuts next week.  The Storm lacks Wi-Fi functionality, which the iPhone has, and has less memory than the iPhone, as well as a slightly less smooth touch interface, according to early reports.  However, the phone reportedly gets better reception, handles email better, is supposed to support copy and paste, supports video recording, and has an easily swappable battery.

Still, even against tough competition and a less than enthused overall business atmosphere, some businesses are warming up to Apple.  According to market researchers, both the iPhone and Windows smartphones should see a rise in subscriptions among business users over the next three years, while Blackberry subscriptions will dip slightly.



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Ok. First a little confession
By Oralen on 11/16/2008 1:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
I first read this article on my iPod Touch.

Got it for my birthday. And I just love it. Overpriced? Don't care.
Wanted one, got one, enjoying it immensely.

But I am just tired of empty articles without any facts or informative value.

First, like the others, when I saw the title, I said to myself: Ok. Jason Mick again.

And then I read it, and...

"Analysts" saying businesses are warming up to the iPhone ?

With a nice Excel 2003 graph ?

How nice.

But... Who are those analysts, and are they really getting paid for predicting that crap ?

iPhone is going to increase it's presence in businesses in the next 3 year ?

Of course you f***ing imbecile! They are nowhere right now !

Unless Apple stops selling it, and that is unlikely, they have nowhere to go but UP, OK ?

So PLEASE, take a vacation, and stop making an article every time anyone in the world says something nice about Apple !

They are NOT going to take over the world, and Steve Jobs is not god.

Sorry about that, I'm not bashing Apple, I think some of their products are great.

But turning it into this kind of stupid religion makes me sick, especially from a site like Dailytech.




RE: Ok. First a little confession
By foolsgambit11 on 11/16/2008 2:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I liked the graph. Except that I'm not really sure what it's supposed to represent. At first glance, I was sure it was going to represent market share in the business sector. But then I realized that the numbers didn't add up. In the next 3 years, RIM loses about 7%, Palm loses about 1%, and 'none' loses about 1%. Let's just say they, together, lose 10% of market share. Then Windows Mobile gets 5%, Apple gets 5%, and all these other guys get about 1% each - let's say all told, the little guys get 7% more. That's 17%. So 10% down, 17% up. It can't be market share.

So I'm guessing it's representing the number of companies supporting the platform, 100% meaning all companies in their sample (240 in current sample, so says the graph in small print) have that platform available to their workforce? And they're saying that in the next three years, about 7% more companies will begin supporting more platforms than they currently do?

Or maybe it's just hard to guess percentages off of a little Excel graph?

Still, it's impressive that 10% of companies support the iPhone for corporate use. I mean, really. It's missing a few vital things for business use, as covered in this article, and more in depth in the CNet article this one was based on.


RE: Ok. First a little confession
By InvertMe on 11/17/2008 9:12:39 AM , Rating: 4
Maybe those extra percent could represent new business?


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