iPhone assessed by business, found wanting

While Microsoft has recently made a point of saying businesses are not just evaluating Windows Mobile, but also buying it in droves, Steve Jobs has only been able to claim that 32% of Fortune 500 businesses are evaluating the iPhone. The first results of these evaluations are trickling in, and the news is not good.

The needs for business centre around security and manageability, and in both arenas the iPhone 3G falls extremely short. While the iPhone 3G has remote wipe, there is no native full device encryption, like its enterprise rivals Windows Mobile and Blackberry has, and the ability to push policies are particularly weak, meaning important requirements such as being able to forbid the installation of applications or to deactivate the camera do not exist at all.

Speaking of applications, Apple’s insistence on being the gatekeeper and sole source of applications also did not go down too well with enterprise either. The requirement to install iTunes on business desktops and the inability to push applications over the air fall far short of what businesses require in 2008 of their mobile device solution.

“From an IT support standpoint, you want a hardened device, something you can fire and forget,” said Todd Christy, president and CTO of Pyxis Mobile, a smartphone application maker. “I think the iPhone is cool, but it isn’t there from an enterprise standpoint.”

While the iPhone 3G may find a ready home in small businesses without the stringent requirements of larger enterprises, further issues such as the lack of dedicated support from Apple and the lack of flexibility of carrier choice will continue to hamstrung the wide deployment of the iPhone 3G in the larger business arena.

Read more at Computerworld.com

Comments