iPhone 2.0: A Businessman's Smartphone

When WWDC was all over and everything was packed away, what most people made a big deal out of, understandably, was the price of the newest iPhone. However, iPhone 2.0 is something that, in all the racket, was a little over looked. Apple is looking to target business men with a focus on enterprise use of the iPhone.

Support for Microsoft’s mail server, Exchange was arguably one of the biggest enterprise complaints when it came to the iPhone and now that iPhone 2.0 is incorporating Exchange ActiveSync, Apple is going hell for leather promoting the iPhone for suits.

Corporate Vice President for Exchange, Terry Myerson said in an interview with PressPass that the collaboration between Microsoft and Apple was something that was discussed before the iPhone launch in 2007. Clearly, Apple has had businessmen, as well as average Joes, on the brain since the start. So what does this mean for businessmen?

When the iPhone first launched there were those who said they wouldn’t go near it with a ten foot barge pole, but even they mostly agreed that while it might not be their cup of tea, it was certainly an appealing device. That in mind, it’s important to remember that businessmen are people too, so of course there was a significant amount of interest in the iPhone from suits. However, the lack of Exchange support meant that a lot of professionals were wary about giving up their Blackberry in favor of the Apple device.

The incorporation of Exchange will mean push email, push contacts, push calendar, Global Address List (GAL) support, certificates and identities, WPA2/802.1X, enforced security policies, more VPN protocols, device configuration and remote wipe for the iPhone, features, which will no doubt appeal to enterprises.

Partnered with this new business-friendly iPhone is AT&T’s ultra-fast 3G network, which is also a selling point for enterprises. The market for smartphones in businesses is huge. Professionals are constantly looking for ways to stay connected with the office while they’re in meetings or traveling abroad. Access to corporate email servers is a necessity and a clear market advantage for smartphone manufacturers and it’s one that Apple didn’t want to miss out on. Last year’s launch of the iPhone saw handsets fly off the shelves and we’re willing to bet that this year, businesses and professionals will be waiting in line with the rest of us.

  • Spirer
    How is Apple going to deliver all those business niceties without relinquishing it's tight grip on the iPhone?

    The reality is that there are mote mature platforms out there, much better suited for business, but again what seems to mater is the "uh-ah" factor. How does Apple intend to suddenly have a mature connectivity and mobility solution with proper end-point control?

    And don't even get me started on the BB... I know everyone uses them, that still doesn't mean it's a good solution.

    For proper business use you need:
    - Full device encryption (to prevent data theft, but slows device down)
    - Remote device management (for support/maintenance, with ability to push updates/applications, etc)
    - Device access control (PIN, passwords, auto-lock, get's in the was of usability, but a must, really)
    - Total ownership of device and management/communication servers

    And yes some of these things get in the way of usability, but you must educate your users and reach a good balance between ease of use and security.
  • guysalmon
    I was prompted to register and post here, for the first time.

    I really don't like this article, because when it is condensed down, all it really says is that Apple is targeting the business user. That is all it says.

    It makes no mention of the functions and features that would give the actual phone an advantage over say the Blackberry.

    For instance does the writer really think that a "touch" interface is friendly to the business user ?
    Are you sure that the "jog" dial is not better ?
    Why should they swap from RIM ?
    Which Blackberry would you compare the iPhone too ?
    Any mention of the Android phones coming out ?

    I really think this is good topic, but there is no real depth to the article. Can you please do some more work on this.