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Steve Jobs at MacWorld 2008 shows the iPhone capturing a U.S. smartphone market share of 19.5%, only trailing RIM, maker of the Blackberry. Apple's new corporate data plans aim to lure customers from RIM, closing this gap.  (Source: Engadget)
After making a splash in the consumer smart phone industry, Apple releases new business targeted plans for the iPhone

DailyTech recently covered the iPhone making inroads with the business community.  The phone draws many business users with its flexible and attractive interface which supports many useful business applications.  Despite email limitations, the fun factor of the phone converts many business users to iPhone aficionados.  While Apple still has a ways to go before being the next Blackberry in terms of business customer volume, it does surprisingly well in this sector.

Eager to cash in on this trend, AT&T today released a set of corporate data plans, designed to lure business users over to the iPhone.  The plans do not include voice, but are designed to supplement users' voice plans with competitive rates on data.

Users who currently have a voice plan, who adopt any of the plans, will get a $25/month credit.  This promotion only applies to activations which occurred before March 31, 2008.  The credit will last through December 31, 2008, so if you sign up for a plan in February, you can get credits for 11 months, for a grand total of $275, a sweet offer that is sure to please many.

Three basic data plans exist.  All included visual voicemail and unlimited domestic data (web and email).  The lowest level plan is $45/month and includes 200 SMS messages. The next up is $55/month and includes 1500 messages while the top plan is $65/month and includes unlimited messages.  Additional business aimed plans for data transfer are also available.  For $25/month, you can get 20 MB of data transfers a month, good in 29 countries.  For $60/month you get 50 MB of data transfers.

Knowledgeable sources at electronics giant IBM have more potential good news for business users; IBM is allegedly set to debut an iPhone version of business e-mail client Lotus Notes at the Lotusphere conference in Orlando this week.  The move is in conjunction with IBM's introduction of Lotus Symphony, a business leaning office suite, which will be released for OS X Leopard.

At Macworld 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs highlighted the iPhones success.  It has sold over 4 million units to date, or 20,000 phones a day, capturing by Apple's estimations approximately 20% of the U.S. smart phone market. 

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Reality Check
By Cobra Commander on 1/21/2008 3:27:17 PM , Rating: 5
Now, I only run a SMB as their IT guy but as far as I've seen nobody in their right mind buys the iPhone for a business smartphone. Talk about embellishing reality here... it's no wonder Steve Jobs and Bill Gates came off the same boat. The iPhone has a ways to go to be a true business device and special plans do not and cannot change its limitations.

RE: Reality Check
By RjBass on 1/21/2008 3:47:00 PM , Rating: 3
This is very true. A client of mine recently purchased an iPhone for all of it's entertainment values plus it's ability to work with his business. Only to find out the hard way that Apple does not support 64bit operating systems with which my client has XP Pro x64.

Needless to say the iPhone was returned and a Blackberry was purchased in its place.

As far as I can see, the only smart phone brands that support 64bit operating systems are Blackberry and Nokia. I could be wrong though.

RE: Reality Check
By cochy on 1/21/2008 3:56:04 PM , Rating: 4
Yikes XP 64-bit? There's your problem right there. It's not a very stable platform. I'd move to Vista in a hurry for 64-bit computing.

You should be able to run 32-bit apps no problem on Vista-64

RE: Reality Check
By FITCamaro on 1/21/2008 5:02:26 PM , Rating: 4
XP 64-bit is perfectly stable platform.

RE: Reality Check
By VooDooAddict on 1/21/2008 9:37:12 PM , Rating: 3

Sure video and audio drivers aren't as optimized as the standard XP-32 drivers... but stability is fine.

RE: Reality Check
By wwwebsurfer on 1/21/2008 6:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
XP x64 is great for things like lightwave that can make use of the extra memory. Stability problems probably occur when you try to emulate a CPU intensive 32-bit program.

RE: Reality Check
By DragonMaster0 on 1/21/2008 8:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a very stable platform.

Very stable but no one makes software for it. Run 32-bit stuff and it will become unstable.

XP 64-bit has the same kernel version as Win Server 2003.

RE: Reality Check
By RjBass on 1/22/2008 11:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well to date I have not had any stability issues with XP x64 and 32bit programs. While I am sure that may have been an issue in the past, SP 2 for XP x64 seems to have taken care of most of that. The real problem with x64 bit OS's is major manufacturers lack of support for them.

Take a look at my recent blog post regarding this very subject -

RE: Reality Check
By LTG on 1/21/2008 4:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
I've owned Windows Mobile phones and the iPhone and I can tell you it's an outstanding phone for a business people.

The iPhone desktop software supports 64-bit Vista now.

It has imap4 mail which is supported by MS, Lotus Notes, everyone.

Honestly the biggest obstacle is probably fortune 1000 IT guys who love to lock down environments to support as few things as possible.

iPhone ECards:

RE: Reality Check
By omnicronx on 1/21/2008 6:55:41 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't support ms exchange without IMAP, and I have heard of many issues when ssl is on (which most business's require).

Email sync'ing is also very primative compared to blackberry.
The iphone has a long way to go before it can truely be considered a business phone.

Right now I see it as more of a perk for those that need to an ascetically pleasing phone, rather than a useful business phone.

RE: Reality Check
By LTG on 1/21/2008 11:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
The iPhone does work with Exchange, in fact I'm using both together currently. The only draw back is calendar appointments are not synced, but mail is just as good - actually better - than accessing exchange with an MS phone.

>>Email sync'ing is also very primative compared
>>to blackberry.

Oh yeah, in what way? Syncing has been excellent using both exchange and yahoo accounts at the same time.

I'm not "one of those apply guys" either, I don't even own a mac.

RE: Reality Check
By HighWing on 1/22/2008 2:14:02 PM , Rating: 1
Honestly the biggest obstacle is probably fortune 1000 IT guys who love to lock down environments to support as few things as possible.

That alone can and will keep many places from making a switch.
Being an IT guy myself, I don't always agree with locking down things, but sometimes it's the only way to keep users from accidentally destroying something. Granted a better alternative would be to teach users what not to do... but anyone in IT will most likely laugh at you for suggesting that, and they will laugh for good reason. Personally I reason that it's better to not give usesrs ANY chance to mess up something, sort of a "better safe then sorry" type thing. Plus last thing you want to be doing is explaining to your boss how a user messed up the system because you didn't block access to something.

Where's Windows Mobile?
By ChristopherO on 1/21/2008 4:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Job's chart seems to be missing WinMobile. RIM is actually second in the market, with something around only a third of the market share of WinMobile.

I don't know if Jobs didn't want to show a chart with 6% share, behind RIM at ~15-20% and MS at >50%.

The chart appears to be based on manufacturer rather than OS, however it is missing HTC -- which happens to be the biggest smartphone/PDA manufacturer worldwide. Their share even dwarfs RIM.

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By cochy on 1/21/2008 4:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying he's a liar? Can someone show accurate data?

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By noirsoft on 1/21/2008 5:06:20 PM , Rating: 3
This claims 10 million WM in use circa May 2007.
This claims 11 million WM licenses sold from July 2006 to July 2007
claims 5 million iPhones sold by year end 2007.

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By ChristopherO on 1/22/2008 12:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for getting the numbers posted.

The installed base for WinMobile is also huge. Jobs is talking about his 3-4 million users, and there has been well over a hundred million WinMobile handsets sold since the OS has been released.

Granted I don't know how many of them have been retired, but that doesn't change the fact that they've got the #1 position well beyond RIM. RIM might have the #1 share of mobile enterprise email, but definitely not overall smartphone usage.

Why can't Apple fans be happy owning a niche product? Either you have something unique, or you have something that everyone owns. It's almost like BMW owners insisting that everyone should own BMWs, but then say they enjoy owning BMWs because not everyone owns a BMW.

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By DragonMaster0 on 1/21/2008 8:58:38 PM , Rating: 3
Jobs, a liar? Cannot be ...

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By JoshuaBuss on 1/21/2008 8:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
exactly. that 'other' looks pretty fishy.

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By robinthakur on 1/22/2008 5:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
Looks right to me, all the companies I've worked for in the UK (Banks) use Blackberries almost exclusively. There's a few Nokia's and a few bankers who demand iPhones (giftwrapped no less) but in general most people use the Blackberry curve/8800 now. Despite being Microsoft shops, Windows mobile is notable in its absence.

I do actually find the Blackberry OS on my 8800 much more user friendly than the Win mobile on my old HTC TYTN. Its functional rather than attempting to ciopy windows. Everything was so precise and fiddly and when the calibration started to creep on the screen (as it did everyday) the device was pretty much unusable without recalibrating it. AND the pearl on the front lights up, what more could you want? (Having said that I'd jump for an iPhone :)

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By Master Kenobi on 1/22/2008 10:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
No remote wipe capability on iPhone right now, this is a non-starter for most companies.

RE: Where's Windows Mobile?
By ChristopherO on 1/22/2008 4:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Can the iPhone also do push-email with Exchange? I know Apple "supported" Exchange, but I didn't know how deeply they supported that product. I have a WinMobile Smartphone and SBS at my house, and I couldn't be happier. Push-email drains the battery quicker (since the phone maintains a persistent SSL connection, the "push" moniker is more of a marketing term). I've found the solution far superior to any Blackberry + BES (since I'm sure virtually no home users maintain their own BES).

I don't understand
By JosefTor on 1/21/2008 4:13:47 PM , Rating: 1
I don't understand how business people can use Blackberry phones. Is it because no suitable alternative exists? The user interface on the Blackberry is so old, antiquated, unorganized, and hard to use. The iPhone at least UI wise anyone can pick up and perform functions that on the blackberry would take a lot of tinkering and a relatively steep learning curve (not because of the power... because it is unintuitive). I'm not saying the iPhone should be the Blackberry replacement because I know of a lot of other non-UI limitations but... why Blackberry phones?

RE: I don't understand
By bhieb on 1/21/2008 4:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it either I am an Net admin for a SMB, and I think BlackBerry's are a joke. The cost of a BB server are insane, when any Windows Mobile 6 phone will connect to OWA just fine. Heck even the iPhone is fine. Once you turn on IMAP4 and config the router, there is no problem syncing with them either. Now if you had Notes or some other email server maybe, but Exchange works fine once configured.

RE: I don't understand
By enlil242 on 1/21/2008 4:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
With IMAP you cannot sync Calendar and Contacs from exchange like you can with ActiveSync. And there is no real need to turn that function on for the iPHone when we offer the other options.

And some of our "Execs" and critical support staff prefer the BlacBerry for the real time email capability. Our on call support can't rely on ActiveSync DirectPush...

When I had a T-Mobile Dash, there were times I wouldn't get emails for almost 10 to fifteen minutes later, which is critical when a Citrix Server wasn't responding and an Alert would be sent to me from the Resource Manager or MOM server.

Now I am not in that sort of role and I actually am using an iPhone (unofficuially), but that is because I do not rely on email as much, although I wish I could use ActiveSync with it...

RE: I don't understand
By bhieb on 1/21/2008 4:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
True it is definately not as nice as DirectPush or ActiveSync, but it will work (barring the calendar and Contacts, but that sync's when you get back to your dock).

The type of person you described probably knows better than to get and iPhone anyway :)

RE: I don't understand
By enlil242 on 1/21/2008 4:31:48 PM , Rating: 3
Well, most business "power-users" rely heavily on email and the BlackBerry, from a mobility standpoint, is industry leading.

We have multiple devices in our organization that fall into either 1.) BlackBerry enabled, or 2.)ActiveSync enabled. We have users who prefer the Blackberry primarily for Email. Others like the Windows Mobile 6 / Palm OS for productivity.

I think it's interesting that the iPhone will be supporting Lotus Notes as opposed to ActiveSync, or BlackBerry for that matter. We did had a couple of Palm Treos that had the BlackBerry software loaded on them for use with our BES. However, that seemed a bit to pricey to buy the BB client for all devices when ActiveSync sufficed.

I wonder what Apple's strategy is to go this route and not support the others. Licensing costs?

Iphone launch date?
By ubears on 1/21/2008 3:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
This promotion only applies to activations which occur before March 31, 2007.

I thought the Iphone was launched in june 07?

RE: Iphone launch date?
By ubears on 1/21/2008 3:09:34 PM , Rating: 2

By wwwebsurfer on 1/21/2008 6:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else notice how Windows technology would fall into that "Other" category... and that the the "Other" category is bigger than the Apple one?

Oh my gosh, Apple is so great, #2 in the industry, har har har.

GT*O, Jobs. We see whats going on here.

Way to go still
By HrilL on 1/24/2008 12:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
I work as an IT guy for a small IT company. And we do black bury and exchange hosting for our customers. We have 4 people using iphones now as well. I am one of them. While it is a great phone and all it is still lacking in a lot of ways. IMAP 4 for exchange access is only email. Where is the calender and tasks sync? The mail application doesn't support multi email delete and thus you must delete one at a time. When replying to an email you can't turn the phone like in the web browser to make the keyboard bigger. While people are using it. Many of them are sticking with outlook web access since you can use the big keyboard, delete more then one email at a time, View your calender, and Tasks. There are also other complaints but those aren't as business related.

Waiting for the Apple haters to show up.
By Desslok on 1/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waiting for the Apple haters to show up.
By cochy on 1/21/2008 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
where I sold


Hold hold hold

RE: Waiting for the Apple haters to show up.
By Desslok on 1/21/2008 4:04:38 PM , Rating: 2

Buy low sell high.

RE: Waiting for the Apple haters to show up.
By TomZ on 1/21/2008 4:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, buy high and sell higher. :o)

By Enoch2001 on 1/21/2008 11:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
Which can also be interpreted as "buy low and sell higher"... Put it this way, for all of those people that bought Apple stock in 1997 for $3.50 a share would have been insane not to sell back in late 2007 when it was almost $200 a share.

Can someone say *CHING*!!!?

By dcalfine on 1/21/2008 6:48:13 PM , Rating: 1
even at 160, it's still more or less double what it was last year at this time

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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