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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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UM YEAH RIGHT!!
By jabberwolf on 11/17/2008 1:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
Poor implementation of Push Email. There’s no way my IT department is going to replace any of our BlackBerry’s with iPhones. Things the iPhone can’t do but other phones can do:

* Only the inbox can be set to synchronize – subfolders can be accessed but no synchronization policy can be set
* No Flagging on email
* Cannot set Out of Office message
* No Hot Keys for managing messages
* Difficult to get to Global Address List
* No support for Activesync Schedule (eg. push during work hrs – pull outside of that)
* No Smart Filtering
* No ability to change sort order of email messages
* No support for Server Search of email messages
* Trying to delete messages or move them when you don’t have connectivity generates lots of errors messages and you cannot actually delete or move when offline
* Message status is not set on the server for replying/forwarding to an email, similarly the status from the server is not provided to the iPhone
* You cannot automatically set attachments to download
* There is no control over maximum attachment size
* You can’t see the number of unread or new emails without unlocking the device
* No ability to invite attendees to a meeting
* You cannot provide a reason for declining meetings
* Attendee status is not available
* There is no click through to get access to information from the GAL for a participant
* No support for setting Out of Office message
* You cannot delete a single occurrence of a recurring meeting – you can only delete the whole series
* Cannot enforce Storage or device encryption
* Remote wipe doesn’t seem to be immediate and restore requires recradling to iTunes
* PIN unlock timeout is not enforced on the iPhone
* You have to ‘slide’ to unlock – then enter the PIN code to unlock the device

Granted, a lot of these are advanced features. However, why make a big deal about Push Email if you aren’t going to make it a better Push Email experience? After all, with Safari you can check your webmail and get a lot of those features.

Battery life. Ipone no way compares to Blackberry.

Those are basic reasons experienced smartphone users won’t like the 3G iPhone not to mention:

* No video recording
* No focus on the camera
* No light on the camera
* No zoom on the camera
* No recording of audio on the device
* No physical keyboard
* AT&T exclusivity
* No Cut and Paste
* No Stereo bluetooth
* Can you send MMS yet? (I don’t know)

However this phone does have several things that make it accessible to the mass public:

* easy to use user interface
* large 3.5? widescreen
* solid media playback and storage

So can we PLEASE have someone write an article that ISNT made up of fantasy and actually does compare actual abilities!

Instead we get this crap from someone always kissing Apple's ass !!




RE: UM YEAH RIGHT!!
By NubWobble on 11/17/2008 7:44:54 AM , Rating: 1
Jabba de Fail knows exactly what users want and none of the things you've posted are them. They want Cut and Paste... oh wait, they don't because Jabba said so.

Have you orderd anything off iTunes today? If not de Fail will have you flogged off this planet.


RE: UM YEAH RIGHT!!
By jabberwolf on 11/17/2008 12:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
NubWobble -
knuckhead wobble:
Apple still cannot cut and paste from different apps, it only works within 1 application. Which is retarded.

Have you actually used what you BS about being able to do? Nope???

Oops this is do to what's called Mactardation. This is becoming an epidemic and the CDC needs to start get more funding to find a cure!!


RE: UM YEAH RIGHT!!
By jimbojimbo on 11/17/2008 1:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget one thing annoys me to no end. If you have multiple email accounts on your iPhone and you're in one mailbox, you have to go back twice and then go two clicks into another account to see your email. With my Pocket PC device it was one click of a button to switch to another account. I could check 4 email accounts with 3 clicks. With an iPhone it takes 12 clicks.

Also, with a PocketPC I could choose however many emails I wanted and then mark all read. With the iPhone I have to actually open every one. How freaking annoying.

I admit though I use the iPhone just because I like the screen for reading books, browsing, and watching video.


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