BlackBerry vs iPhone: the verdict

Which smartphone prevails in the business market?

When it comes to business, are you toying between a Blackberry or an iPhone? We've taken a look at how function in a business environment to help you decide.

According to Paciorek, the biggest challenge will be from employees bringing their personal iPhones to work.

"We worry about bandwidth so we certainly don't want users recklessly downloading music or videos over our network. That includes downloading to their local machine before syncing to their iPhone as well as downloading directly over our wireless network to their iPhone. We can place controls on both, but it just means another thing we have to monitor."

The biggest headache for Paciorek, however, isn't what happens when employees have their phones with them-it's when they don't. 'We worry about security," he says. "Our BlackBerrys are managed directly by our BlackBerry Enterprise Server so if one of those gets lost or stolen, we can remotely wipe the device and not worry about losing company data. With the iPhones, that's not possible. If a person is using it as a business PDA and has any kind of data-whether personal or business related-we have no control over it if it's lost."

Paciorek says the best defence against these sorts of issues with iPhones is, of course, a good offense. "Make it clear to users what they can and can't do before they even consider the iPhone purchase. This way the users will have the proper expectations before they bring it to the office. At our company, we've let everyone know as soon as there is a secure way to push our email to the iPhone and as soon as features like remote wipe are made available, we will support it. Until then, we won't."

Fortunately, there's good news for Paciorek and other CIOs making plans to integrate iPhones into the workplace; these are the very issues that will be addressed in the upcoming release of the iPhone software 2.0, currently in beta.

Access Intelligence's hard line against the use of iPhones in the workplace isn't meant as a commentary on the value of the device in general but rather what the company perceives as its potential limitations. Once those issues are addressed, the company plans to support the phones.

"[We're] not trying to single [them] out because we're anti-Apple. The iPhone is a great consumer device that may be a great business device someday."

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