Apple iPhone Out, BlackBerry 8800 In At NASA

johnee

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Apple iPhone Out, BlackBerry 8800 In At NASA

The minutes of a meeting of NASA tech officials show that the space agency has determined the iPhone "not to be enterprise ready."

By Paul McDougall
InformationWeek
July 31, 2007 09:20 AM

NASA astronauts and other employees won't be using Apple iPhones to surf the Internet or send text messages anytime soon -- at least not while they're on the job.

On the other hand, they could soon have access to spiffy new BlackBerrys.

The space agency has determined the iPhone "not to be enterprise ready," according to the minutes of a July 10 meeting of NASA tech officials obtained by InformationWeek.

According to the minutes, the decision was made by officials within NASA's ODIN program office. ODIN, or Outsourcing Desktop Initiative For NASA, is a program under which NASA is outsourcing computer supply and support to private-sector companies.

The meeting minutes indicate that Jeff Stephens, an ODIN acting project manager who also works for defense contractor Lockheed Martin, broke the news that the iPhone won't fly at NASA. Reached Monday at his office in Washington, D.C., Stephens said only that, "I can't comment on that one way or the other."

Stephens didn't respond to a follow up e-mail. Apple officials didn't return a call Monday seeking comment.

The meeting minutes viewed by InformationWeek didn't indicate why NASA officials believe the iPhone isn't ready for prime time as a business tool. However, analysts at IT research firm Gartner last month issued a research bulletin on the iPhone that outlined a range of concerns.

Among them: lack of support from major device management and mobile security software suites, lack of removable batteries, and Apple's exclusive contract with network provider AT&T.

Still, NASA employees aren't completely out in the cold when it comes to having a hot new PDA. The July 10 meeting minutes indicate that the agency is planning to support the new BlackBerry 8800 from Research In Motion and the Palm Treo 750.
 

ctango

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2006
72
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Concerned

I'm more concerned that a government sponsored program is so hush hush about their decisions. It should be public information as to what information led them to that decision. If they don't say, then for all we know it could just be this guy's opinion of Apple that caused him to say "no".
 

johnee

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I really hope the people at NASA have more sense then to buy into their Garbage De Jour.

I fear for our space program if they do.
You're worried the space program is in trouble because they're not buying the iphone? a bit strange, please expand.

I'm more concerned that a government sponsored program is so hush hush about their decisions. It should be public information as to what information led them to that decision. If they don't say, then for all we know it could just be this guy's opinion of Apple that caused him to say "no".
I agree with you on this point. actually i'm more pessimistic than you, I'm starting to wonder if there are kickbacks from RIM for the decision.
I highly doubt that's true, but it's a valid postulate given their move.
 

diamond.g

macrumors 603
Mar 20, 2007
6,361
317
Virginia
I'm more concerned that a government sponsored program is so hush hush about their decisions. It should be public information as to what information led them to that decision. If they don't say, then for all we know it could just be this guy's opinion of Apple that caused him to say "no".
hmm, you think NASA is the only government sponsored prgram that is hush hush about things???
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I'm more concerned that a government sponsored program is so hush hush about their decisions. It should be public information as to what information led them to that decision. If they don't say, then for all we know it could just be this guy's opinion of Apple that caused him to say "no".
Usually, even if the details of the specific decision are closed, the details of the government *purchasing* process (multi-source RFQs, etc) are not. But I think you have a fair point, in that the government can be more efficient (and also add value to the private sector) by publishing their findings so that others can take advantage of them.

In any event, this is Blackberry vs iPhone for a corporate environment... it's not like they went and chose some weird random startup. RIM has an excellent history of catering very carefully to this kind of market. They've gone out of their way in all kinds of ways -- well-thought-out security policies, encryption, offering models with no cameras, etc. -- to woo IT managers.
 

bmustaf

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2007
239
150
Telluride, CO
I love my iPhone as much as anyone, but why is it so hard for all the iPhone diehards to admit it is NOT an Enterprise device? It can't do OTA calendaring with Apples own .Mac, let alone Exchange and Notes. It can't do bcc, it can't do sophistcated folder support. It CAN be a great multimedia convergence device which is why I have one, but it never set out to be a corporate warrior's sidearm -- and even insinuating it could play in that space is comparing apples to oranges and is probably not at all in sync with the requirements, needs, and usage patterns of the corporate market.

So, the article is kind of lame, why is it trying to compare the iPhone to a phone not even in the same market?

Maybe in 6-12 months when tried and true solutions come out to fill these gaps the iPhone can play in this space, but until then the iPhone IS NOT a BlackBerry (and a BlackBerry is NOT an iPhone)...

 

johnee

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I love my iPhone as much as anyone, but why is it so hard for all the iPhone diehards to admit it is NOT an Enterprise device? It can't do OTA calendaring with Apples own .Mac, let alone Exchange and Notes. It can't do bcc, it can't do sophistcated folder support. It CAN be a great multimedia convergence device which is why I have one, but it never set out to be a corporate warrior's sidearm -- and even insinuating it could play in that space is comparing apples to oranges.

So, the article is kind of lame, why is it trying to compare the iPhone to a phone not even in the same market?

Maybe in 6-12 months when tried and true solutions come out to fill these gaps the iPhone can play in this space, but until then the iPhone IS NOT a BlackBerry (and a BlackBerry is NOT an iPhone)...

honestly, I was very surprised they even considered it, let alone investigate potential use.
 

Maui

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2007
869
0
honestly, I was very surprised they even considered it, let alone investigate potential use.
Agreed. I currently carry an 8800 for work and my iPhone for personal use. The 8800 is very tightly integrated with Exchange. Until/unless the iPhone does that (Jobs has hinted they are working on it), I will stick with the 8800.

It is a bit odd, I must say, to go back and forth between the iPhone keyboard and the 8800 keyboard, though.
 

toomer

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2007
23
0
Most likely, this all came down to something as simple as the remote-data-wipe capabilities that RIM has had in their platform for years. A few simple keystrokes, and you can completely destroy a device in the field that has been lost or stolen. Given that NASA employees may actually have sensitive information on their mobile devices - it's probably a bare minimum requirement to be considered.

Which the iPhone does not have.

Doesn't surprise me at all. Good thing my employer has no similar requirements...
 

odHbo

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2007
101
57
Why do people think the iPhone is set to be the be-all-end-all phone? It's great but it's not going to replace everything. :rolleyes:
 

defeated

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2007
188
0
Im glad NASA is promoting economical solutions. lol

people, its a not like the whole world need to use iphone.
 

TXCraig

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2007
507
6
Houston, TX
The iPhone at this point in time is not really a business device like a Blackberry is. In fact, I would be real suprised to see the iPhone be the corportate device of choice for any government or large / public company besides Apple.

I can't see any large orginazation packaging and deploying iTunes to all the orginizations for emplyee use! What a crazy thing that would be.

Right now, the iPhone can't update cal or contact info over the air like a BlackBerry can. Until this happens you will not see any large company move over.

Many compaines have invested a lot of money in Blackberry gateway servers and they are very secure. Not available with the iPhone yet.

You might also consider the federal government might take the heat for using your tax dollars to deply iPods to its employees... the iPhone is a iPod.

People have to realize that at this time- the iPhone is NOT competing with corporate blackberry use. Its not there and may never be. I don't think Apple has ever marketed the iPhone that way. Its just some people have it stuck in their head that the iPhone will be a replacment for every phone / device out there... I don't think so.
 

madagi

macrumors member
May 6, 2005
80
0
Hanover, PA
If the 8800 is anything like the 8100, they can have it. My 8100 was a P.O.S. (Yes, I know it's the full QWERTY version of the 8100)
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,555
5
American Riviera
At the defense contractor where I work, iPhones are not yet approved for official business use. The main hurdles are security/encryption, as well as integration with Notes/Exchange servers. There are several people that own them, but they still maintain an official employer-provided phone as well.

I think that the two applications are so far apart at this time that it really doesn't make sense to compare them. Apples to oranges, really.
 

severe

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2007
702
33
Im glad NASA is promoting economical solutions. lol...
No kidding. I like to see them cutting that budget a bit.
Love reading about the billions spent on that program, while I'm stepping over a homeless person in the city. :rolleyes:
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,527
323
NJ Highlands, Earth
honestly, I was very surprised they even considered it, let alone investigate potential use.
Look at the calendar: the iPhone was released on Friday 29 June, yet they reached their fully staffed 'conclusion' on 10 July, which due to the 4th of July holiday, was only 6 business days. Absolutely NOTHING ever moves that fast in a large buerocratic organization except for things that are being given the lip service brush off.



Most likely, this all came down to something as simple as the remote-data-wipe capabilities that RIM has had in their platform for years...
I find this interesting, for as little as 12 months ago, our IT's were still literally destructively crushing our BB's that had accidentally gotten 'naughty' data on them. Its only been within the past 6 months that they've gone to triple brainwipe.

The iPhone at this point in time is not really a business device like a Blackberry is. In fact, I would be real suprised to see the iPhone be the corportate device of choice for any government or large / public company besides Apple.
Agreed. This is the v1.0 product and consumers will be the demonstration testbed to give industry a chance to look & test. We do have to remember that before 29 June, there was effectively zero hard information for most businesses to even consider starting their product suitability reviews with.

At the defense contractor where I work, iPhones are not yet approved for official business use. The main hurdles are security/encryption, as well as integration with Notes/Exchange servers.
Their next excuse will be the lack of a supported CAC sled, but they are bluetooth sleds available now that could probably be used.

Yeah, imagine that: because they so want to keep using Blackberries, they'll willing to allow the CAC validation protocols to be transferred over a wireless connection! Talk about a "sucking chest wound" sized security hole.


-hh
 

Maui

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2007
869
0
Right now, the iPhone can't update cal or contact info over the air like a BlackBerry can. Until this happens you will not see any large company move over.
While I agree the iPhone is not ready for a corporate environment (see my post above), I disagree with this statement. The Blackberry line gained its popularity without having wireless synch of the calendar or contacts. I had a Blackberry for 5 years before they came out with this function. It's the ability to deal with Exchange email that will drive, or not drive, this.