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Gartner: Corporate use of iPhone should be narrow

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Tue August 5, 2008

Gartner & corp. iPhone use

Corporations should limit their support for the iPhone, says the Gartner research group. Analyst Ken Dulaney notes that although the iPhone 2.0 firmware now supports a variety of corporate-friendly features, most notably Exchange sync, traffic encryption and remote wiping, holes remain in its security. The primary issue is encryption, because while iPhones can now operate on encrypted networks, it is currently impossible to encrypt local files, leaving data exposed in cases of physical theft.

Dulaney observes that while Apple insists there is an API for such encryption, it has not provided anything further. It instead appears that third-party developers are expected to write this software, even though they have restricted access to the API.

Another qualm exists with Apple's firmware delivery, since it requires each user to have a copy of iTunes on his desktop, which by default can install updates without IT manager approval. Apple's own iTunes registry controls are not enough, says Dulaney, who instead favors that businesses use their own controls to disable automatic firmware upgrades and other file transfers.

The iPhone is also said to have issues outside of security, namely roaming, because the intense data focus of the iPhone can lead to massive data bills when roaming in another country. Battery life has also proved problematic, with Dulaney noting that he has rarely been able to keep the iPhone 3G on for a "full day of use." The issue is attributed either to Wi-Fi or Exchange's ActiveSync technology, which may be draining power by constantly polling the network for new e-mail.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...cares. if the it departments would get of there lazy asses they would have this iphone working just fine.

  1. henryblackman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Uninformed "analyst"

    Yet another clueless person who posts about the iPhone (or anything else Apple, Microsoft, or whomever).

    The iPhone's filesystem is in fact, encrypted. Apple implemented this in 1.x version family as a way to "beat the hackers" allegedly, perhaps they did it because of real reason, than the "woe is me" hacker crowd.

    Also, in terms of battery life, the phone isn't "constantly polling the network". It's called PUSH for a reason. It doesn't have to poll the network. Perhaps he used the phone constantly, 3G browsing does drain the battery - just like very other 3G phone. Big shock.

    I wish these "analysts" would actually do some real, scientifically based, research - rather than simply complain about "issues" they read about on the web.

  1. bp2k7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why don't they mention..

    When people mention why the corporate world won't adopt the iPhone, they NEVER mention lack of a physical keyboard.

    I can touch type without looking on my Blackberry. That's something I can't do on the iPhone. It's nice to not have to be constantly looking at the phone when you're typing.

    I'm a mac guy and I may get an iPhone for personal use, but not for business.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Most corporate networks policies will disable Apple's auto-update from downloading - but I do agree, companies would be happier with a cut-down iPhone sync client rather than iTunes.

    I suspect most companies would actually be better off just relying on MS / Apple's auto-update than doing the poor job of managing updates that they currently do (I know we're months behind on some software).

    bp2k7 - everyone mentions the lack of keyboard. Personally, I think it depends on how much sending rather than reading messages is important to you. I'd prefer a laptop and 3G card any day.

  1. gambit-7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: bp2k7

    Please. Seriously. Stick to talking about what you know.

    I'm the Mac tech for a major publish company and let me tell you something: once the CEO got wind of what the iPhone could do, everything around here changed. And that's just in less than a week!

    We're rolling out iPhones here, and the more people see them, the more they want them, lack of physical keyboards be damned.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    missing the logic train

    Corporations should limit their support for Gartner research group, as holes remain in its logic.

    Why are all the "traditional" cell phone companies introducing knockoffs that are trying to look like the iPhone? Why are some of the fortune 500 companies already switching to the iPhone, with many planning to do so?

    Perhaps Gartner research group has clients in the cell phone industry that cannot compete fairly on usability, and need some tool to put out FUD?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dulaney talks...

    fewer and fewer people listen. He is another of the Gartner analyst who has continually badmouthed Apple. In spite of this, Apple continues its success and people recognize that Dulaney has no clue.

  1. hmo8020

    Joined: Dec 1969



    should be more finical!

    Is there a website where you can rate such persons?

    Maybe something worth to put on MacNN?

    Per person, links to their articles and rate them!

    Based on the fact these guys influence investors sooo much and being proactive, there should be something done in this space!

    MacNN your view on this?

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    great timing, gartner...

    especially if the 200K unit rollout from HSBC happens. i personally know of at least one other large-ish enterprise rollout (~8K) currently being piloted in the US. i'm sure others will follow suit.

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