Can you stop the iPhone now, IT?

Enterprise features on the new iPhone

One of my initial thoughts after hearing about the iPhone 3G was, "Hmmm, I wonder how the enterprise is going to keep this device out of the office." Last year, the checklist of reasons why IT shouldn't support it was pretty long, but Apple appears to have seen the lists and solved lots of these items.

First on the list was support for Exchange. The initial iPhone couldn't do it easily (you could, technically, access corporate e-mail if you used the Safari browser and went through the Outlook Web client), but the new version supports it "out of the box." I'm assuming that many of the major functions that mobile users are going to want from Exchange will work on the iPhone 3G. E-mail, of course, but calendars and contacts will also be synchronized over-the-air.

Other enterprise features on the new iPhone include VPN support (Cisco IPSec supported) and wireless security for the Wi-Fi connection (including WPA2 Enterprise and 802.1x authentication). The release of the iPhone SDK (Apple claims more than 250,000 downloads since the beginning of the year) means that enterprise applications (especially commercial enterprise apps) will be able to be ported to the iPhone.

There are still some small items that may cause an enterprise to take note. There's still no user-replaceable battery, so mobile workers who experience a battery failure have to figure out a way to get Apple (or AT&T) to replace it. The same goes for memory -- while 8GB and 16GB seem like enough space, there's no way to add additional memory. The lack of physical keys on the device may be an issue for users who love typing on their BlackBerry, but I wouldn't be surprised to see an attachable keyboard at some point, either from Apple or an accessories vendor.

And despite the "half the price, twice the speed" mantra from Apple, when you add in the data plan from AT&T, which increased the data plans for the 3G network by about $10 per month, the costs for owning a new iPhone are about the same as the old one. But you get the new features and the faster network, so I'm not so sure that argument holds up. The US$45 per month for the right to connect an iPhone to Exchange e-mail might be the last objection from IT, it seems that AT&T is sticking it to business users. But most enterprises probably won't object to this since it's a cost of doing business for them, and it's not much more than what BlackBerry and other corporate e-mail services cost.

It seems to me that if there are any remaining objections by IT regarding the iPhone, they would seem to be personal opinions about Apple, or AT&T, rather than the technical features.

When I tried the iPhone last year, I loved a lot of the "personal" features that transformed mobile devices. With this year's version, I have a feeling I'll love the "business" features as well. We'll see what happens in about a month, when the iPhone 3G goes on sale.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Keith Shaw

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?