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Apple touts enterprise features in iPhone 3.0

updated 06:20 pm EDT, Thu June 18, 2009

iPhone for enterprise

With the new iPhone 3.0 firmware, Apple has continued to develop the platform for enterprise use. The company has issued an enterprise deployment guide (PDF) for system administrators to integrate the iPhone or iPod touch. Although the initial launch focused on consumer features, the company quietly added a variety of capabilities specifically geared for business users.

The 3.0 firmware now supports CalDAV calendar sync, LDAP servers for contact sharing, Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP), on-demand certificate-based VPNs and proxy configurations, along with additional ActiveSync capabilities and APN proxy settings. Exchange support has also been expanded, enabling users view reply statuses or invite others to meetings.

Along with the updated functionality, Apple also provided additional tools for restricting device usage. Configuration profiles can be encrypted and locked, requiring an administrative password for removal. Controls are also available to disable the camera or specify the length of time the handset can stay unlocked.

The devices can now be authenticated or enrolled over the air using Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol (SCEP) servers, while the iTunes backups can be saved in encrypted formats. If an iPhone is lost or stolen, the data can be remotely wiped from the device.

Apple late last year ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal highlighting the iPhone's enterprise features. The ad followed a J.D. Power and Associates ranking that placed the handset as the leader in customer satisfaction with business smartphones. The company has also been running a mini-site dedicated to bringing the device into larger corporate environments.

While the iPhone initially was criticized for lacking a number of business features offered by competitors such as RIM, the company has been working diligently to close the gap and establish itself as a leader in the enterprise segment. On the broader market, a recent ChangeWave survey indicates a spike in demand for Palm and Apple handsets and a slump for RIM devices.

Recently publicized patent applications indicate more business-centric technology may be on the way, such as biometric authentication. As Apple opens the door to new capabilities with the iPhone SDK, third-party developers also continue to produce and improve enterprise apps.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If IT says no...

    the iPhone won't go.

    IT always seems to have the final say and they're always looking for ways to keep the iPhone out of the enterprise just like they do with Macs. There's always some little thing that just doesn't quite do what they need and boom, goodbye Apple.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Management tools

    I wonder if Apple has any management tools available for a fleet of iPhones, or if they are going to dump this on IT departments to individually configure each one. (sigh)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: If IT says no

    Yes, because if an IT dept. says no to anything from Apple, it's because they have a personal vendetta against them. It couldn't be the fact it is missing a key piece of technology or capability. Nope, it's all personal...

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've talked with IT people and they hate change as much as anyone. It bugs them that they spent all those years learning PC c*** to become high-priests and they'll be hanged if they have to learn something new.

    Some of these guys, when you talk "Apple" to them, they s**** up their face, tell you they don't like integrating anything from Apple, and then you find out they know next to nothing about Apple, Macs, or anything else except what SOMEONE else told them.

    They WILL integrate Apple stuff if they have a big enough client that wants to use it, but there will be a certain amount of complaining along the way.

    OTOH, I'e seen these same type of people, once they understand Apple, become harder core Apple fans than you or I... and they do realize the nonsense they had been dealing with for years... but I can't say I've run into tons of them who feel that way.

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