updated 08:55 pm EDT, Mon March 17, 2008
Analysts torn on iPhone
With Apple's recent introduction of the iPhone/iPod touch SDK, some analysts are torn on the device's corporate future, despite support for Microsoft's ActiveSync protocol. According to MarketWatch, the latest changes to the iPhone platform could make it more competitive with the RIMM BlackBerry platform, but analyst Toni Sacconaghi said the introductions may do little to change the iPhone's overall position in the smartphone market.
Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest Securities takes an opposing stance, saying that the iPhone should attract new developers and " will likely be the first Apple device for millions of corporate users, and positive impressions could drive stronger demand for Macs over time." Hargreaves believes that the SDK and ActiveSync support will help drive over 5 million handset sales to corporate customers.
While Sacconaghi thinks the existing barriers regarding BlackBerry devices functioning on an Exchange server will still be present, Hargreaves says that the iPhone could create a halo effect in the corporate industry, similar to that of the iPod and the home market.
Hargreaves estimates that Apple holds less than 2-percent of the worldwide PC market, and submits that the Mac platform could see "meaningful growth" throughout the 2008 fiscal year. Each 1-percent gain would entitle Apple to 25¢ per share, according to Hargreaves.