Friday, December 12, 2008

Does Apple Want an Enterprise-Friendly iPhone?

Arguably one of the most attractive features of the iPhone is the ability to pinch and drag items on the screen, but a report from ABI Research notes that "capacitive" technology is incompatible with many legacy enterprise applications.

ABI analysts conclude that this will put a significant hurdle in Apple's march to enterprise adoption.

But hold on now! Computerworld's Ryan Faas has a list of ten things Apple can do to make the iPhone more attractive to business users. Faas's doesn't directly address this issue, but several of his recommendations would require Apple to make significant changes to its underlying operating system. Faas notes:

The iPhone has a lot of potential as a business device, but its ultimate success will depend on how well it responds to the real-world needs of corporate users and IT managers. To succeed, Apple will need to prove that the iPhone is more than a media player or a toy.

But maybe Apple doesn't want to become yet another enterprise device. Maybe the whole point is that the iPhone is about enjoyment and style, and making it a work tool just isn't... cool.

Really, the whole push to make Apple more enterprise-friendly comes from executives who got the iPhone as a present and are putting pressure on IT admins to make it work with Exchange so they can ditch their uncool-looking BlackBerrys.

So customers would like to see the iPhone become more enterprise-friendly. But since when has Apple shown any interest in doing what its customers want?

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