updated 11:50 am EST, Fri December 7, 2007
iPhone enters corp. space
The iPhone is gaining popularity with businessmen and corporations in spite of its focus, Reuters writes. The phone is nominally a combination of an iPod with typical smartphone applications, but its execution is such that major companies -- like SAP and Salesforce -- have allowed sales and finance teams to use it for work outside the office. SAP recently announced that it would release an iPhone version of its customer relationship management software, but more importantly, before new versions were available for traditional "business" phones such as the RIM BlackBerry or the Palm Treo. The cause of this was reportedly SAP's own salespeople, who were demanding the iPhone due to ease-of-use.
The major barrier to corporate adoption, cited analysts say, is that the iPhone still does not work well with corporate e-mail systems, which normally use technology such as Microsoft's Exchange Server and Outlook to deliver push mail. Similarly, users cannot have contacts and calendars updated via EDGE or Wi-Fi; this is taken for granted on Windows Mobile phones.
"What really made the iPod take off was when they made it compatible with Windows," says American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. "So if they made the iPhone compatible with Windows e-mail, meaning Outlook, that would really make sales take off."
Some business clients are said to be holding out for the promised 3G iPhone, while others complain that typing out more than a quick e-mail is troublesome on the device's touchscreen.