Several weeks ago, I blogged a short piece discussing some of the alternates to BlackBerry devices that IT managers and Procurement departments could consider in supporting their organizations.

Since that blog post, Apple has released the latest version of the iPhone (3G), and with it, they are now supporting push email with Exchange (similar to windows mobile’s built in functions). Gartner has recently taken a fresh look at the new device, and has some reservations about deploying it in a corporate environment.

Overall, the iPhone has made major improvements by adding security features (the ability to wipe a phone clean from remote locations) as well as support for Exchange push. However, in order to manage the phones, iTunes must be installed on each user’s pc, which by default circumvents many of the security policies and controls that IT departments can place on devices. There was also a blown launch of the MobileMe service (which enables Exchange push email), and wide reports of failures, lost emails, and large delays in receiving email. Additionally, the iPhone is not capable of editing office documents (word and excel) while both BlackBerry and Windows Mobile support it, excessive costs from AT&T for data plans, and poor battery life while using the data component, an argument not to switch to the iPhone on a corporate level could be easily made.

Now don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is perhaps the most user friendly portable device on the planet, and it potential has barely been tapped. However it just does not seem like a enterprise device at this time, especially if costs are a major concern for your organization. Now, if you are a small business, or really only need the phone to check your email, it might be a solution for your company, but don’t expect your IT departments to be able to deliver the level of support and security that you are accustomed to with Blackberry or WinMo.
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William Dorn

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