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AT&T to Target iPhone to Business Customers?

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Apr 12, 2001
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Macworld reports that AT&T (formerly Cingular) plans on marketing Apple's upcoming iPhone to business users.

Cingular, which was acquired by AT&T, recently decided that the iPhone will appeal to business users and the operator is now working hard to ensure that its backend enterprise billing and support systems will accommodate the device when it ships, said a source familiar with the company’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The news comes in the wake of comments by a Microsoft executive that the iPhone would "irrelevant to business users" due to a lack of 3rd party support:

"[The iPhone is] a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there's no support for Office documents. If you're an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it's just not an option. Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge," the executive added.

Analysts appear to agree and feel that it would be a mistake for AT&T to market it specifically to business users who may depend on these 3rd party applications as well as ongoing concerns about battery life and the non-removable battery.

Apple stated early on that they will be limiting 3rd party development on the Apple iPhone. While additional applications may become available, they will be in a "controlled environment".
 

VanMac

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2005
914
0
Rampaging Tokyo
Well, I'm going to buy one, and write it off as a business expense :)

Not sure if I see many crackberry addicts switching, but I see no reason why it wont be able to be used by some companies as their corporate communication device.....
 

Bosunsfate

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2006
344
0
Silicon Valley, CA
Analysts appear to agree and feel that it would be a mistake for AT&T to market it specifically to business users who may depend on these 3rd party applications as well as ongoing concerns about battery life and the non-removal battery.

I think these analysts have it wrong. How many people seriously edit, or for that matter even view, an office document on one of these devices?

Of course that goes against what MS is trying to advocate with the whole windows mobile media blitz.

Personally its one of those things, you think you need it, but never use it...
 

MacVault

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2002
1,144
59
Planet Earth
...The news comes in the wake of comments by a Microsoft executive that the iPhone would "irrelevant to business users" due to a lack of 3rd party support:

Analysts appear to agree and feel that it would be a mistake for AT&T to market it specifically to business users who may depend on these 3rd party applications as well as ongoing concerns about battery life and the non-removal battery...

Ok, let me try to understand this... the Microsoft exec says iPhone is bad because it's "closed" and thus won't run Office??? Well, isn't Office ***** "CLOSED" itself? What a hypocrit! :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

peestandingup

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2006
248
0
Microsoft is gonna make themselves look stupid in a few months when there are indeed apps that'll open/create word files & when other 3rd party apps are released for iPhone.

Saying that the user "cannot install applications on" the device is just stupid of them to even say. Oh, really Microsoft?? Last time I checked, no one said you wont be able to install apps on the phone, just that they will have to pass Apple's tests, like the iPod games are now.

How 'bout shuttin' up until we know the specifics, MS??
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
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MA, USA
I can see this for small businesses but not for large businesses.

Corporations need to be able to encrypt the content of the device, they need to comunicate over encrypted channels (end to end with their internal email server) and need to comunicate via email with outsiders via some other form of secured email.

Last but not least, entering the wrong code should wipe the device after n number of bad tries.

Based on what little we know so far, these capabilites are not in the iPhone making it like any other phone other than blackberry. Blackberry phone and their server software that runs on the Corporate email server has these capabilities and more.

Sorry not yet in the same league, but I do want one for my use not work.
 

pilotError

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2006
2,237
4
Long Island
Is there some unannounced App that AT&T knows about?

Doesn't make sense unless they put together something to compete with the crackberries...
 

jfruh

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2002
39
0
Honestly, my understanding is that one of the things that most terrifies corporate IT departments is employees downloading and installing any old thing on their laptops or cell phones. They might see the limited ability to install apps on the iPhone as a plus.
 

tribulation

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2006
185
0
jackson hole, wy
MS' guys are just jealous...

I don't think so. Apple is doing the same old detrimental thing again. Just as the iTV can be hacked, the phones will be too. But the quality of the apps that will run "hacked" will be nowhere near what they could have been if Apple would just release their darn SDK for 3rd party developers.

Another bold but stupid move. Nobody is saying that they have to financially support the 3rd party products, aka tech support, but they should by no means purposely prevent them.

3rd party apps are more than just MS Office viewer/editors. If you've ever owned a Palm you know what I mean. Games, scientific applications, finance utilities, etc etc etc etc. There are limitless possibilities if they opened up the API for the phone. Without out it, you'll be stuck with an addressbook, and a few other simplistic programs that in practice do little more than a $20 Nokia - look a bit prettier, but the features are not much different. It's like saying you can buy a new Mac Pro, but you can't install anything on it. You can only use iLife. For most people, they wouldn't buy it. You can only do so much with iLife. But the Mac thrives on 3rd party products, just like the mini OSX iPhone edition should/could. Totally stupid in my opinion.

They're shooting themselves in the foot. In the end, it will happen anyways with complex hacks and workarounds, but the products will not thrive and there will be little incentive for any developer to make anything for it since the experience level for just getting the software on it will be more than the novice can figure out.

If you don't want to install 3rd party apps on it, fine. Don't. But let those of us who do, do. A miniature mobile Mac OSX phone could be so cool. But a miniature mobile locked email and google map viewer is pretty low for the high price tag.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,858
1,416
Falls Church, VA
I can see this for small businesses but not for large businesses.

Corporations need to be able to encrypt the content of the device, they need to comunicate over encrypted channels (end to end with their internal email server) and need to comunicate via email with outsiders via some other form of secured email.

Last but not least, entering the wrong code should wipe the device after n number of bad tries.

Based on what little we know so far, these capabilites are not in the iPhone making it like any other phone other than blackberry. Blackberry phone and their server software that runs on the Corporate email server has these capabilities and more.

Sorry not yet in the same league, but I do want one for my use not work.

I agree... Also, Blackberry and MS has championed PUSH email. As far as I know, iPhone only supports pull-type email (IMAP). That is the first thing big business is going to look for, and when they see it isn't present, they will pass.

That is, unless Apple is building push-email support into it and we don't know it yet...
 

tribulation

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2006
185
0
jackson hole, wy
Honestly, my understanding is that one of the things that most terrifies corporate IT departments is employees downloading and installing any old thing on their laptops or cell phones. They might see the limited ability to install apps on the iPhone as a plus.

If it's really running a mini OSX, then that's a simple task for standard user accounts and access privileges to take care of. The company installs whatever in admin mode, the user uses it in User mode. Just like on every Mac. Why the iPhone couldn't do something so simple like this is beyond me.
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
0
MA, USA
Is there some unannounced App that AT&T knows about?

Doesn't make sense unless they put together something to compete with the crackberries...

Possible, but they maybe going after the small corporations that are not as security concious.

At my company, it would be a very hard sale without all the security features I mention previously, a server that pushes encrypted emails to the device, the ability to return encrypted emails back to the mail server, and the ability to lock the device so no unauthorized applications can be loaded or run.

Maybe Apple has all this coming, but not by June, maybe in a year or so, Rev2 or 3.
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
0
MA, USA
I agree... Also, Blackberry and MS has championed PUSH email. As far as I know, iPhone only supports pull-type email (IMAP). That is the first thing big business is going to look for, and when they see it isn't present, they will pass.

That is, unless Apple is building push-email support into it and we don't know it yet...

They could do it with pull email, the phone provider would need to hold the encrypted messages until the device pulls it. They do the hosting/holding even for push since the device is not always geoing to be ready to receive. Push vs pull may not be an issue, but secured email would.

Oh and lets not forget the ability to read & edit MS documents.
 

john7jr

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2003
188
0
I agree... Also, Blackberry and MS has championed PUSH email. As far as I know, iPhone only supports pull-type email (IMAP). That is the first thing big business is going to look for, and when they see it isn't present, they will pass.

That is, unless Apple is building push-email support into it and we don't know it yet...

Did you even see the announcement? It includes Push email... it comes with a free Yahoo Push email account. No doubt Google and Mac OS X Server will support that soon as well, yada yada...

Steve Jobs at the keynote said:
"...today we are announcing with Yahoo that they are going to provide free PUSH
IMAP EMAIL to all iPhone's customers. So, this isn't just IMAP email, it is PUSH
IMAP email. So that when you get a message it will push it right out to the phone
for you, same as the Blackberry. FREE IMAP PUSH email from Yahoo".
 
I think it would be silly of Apple not to include some kind of MS Office support, considering a great majority of both Mac(we hat to amdit it) and Windows users use MS Office. Honestly I would like to be able to open these documents on my phone. It makes no sense to limit something that is used so often:apple:
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
6,550
3,686
Florida Resident
Zune is for Business

The Apple Phone will be reliable because Apple locked it down. The unreliable business phone OS from Microsoft isn't good for business. Possible data loss and dropped phone calls isn't acceptable.

Perhaps Microsoft should focus on the Business MP3 player called "Zune Business Pro". You can view Word documents and listen to your meetings and business music on the run. The Zune Shuffle can be used during business meetings to tune out unnecessary chatter during meetings.
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
0
MA, USA
Honestly, my understanding is that one of the things that most terrifies corporate IT departments is employees downloading and installing any old thing on their laptops or cell phones. They might see the limited ability to install apps on the iPhone as a plus.

What most corporations fear are:
1) Data Stolen
2) Even worse, data that is not encrypted in a lost or stolen device
3) unauthorized applications that may do who knows what with the device content or to their network of computers. This also includes but not limited to virus, worms and trojans, in general "Malware".
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
0
MA, USA
I don't think so. Apple is doing the same old detrimental thing again. Just as the iTV can be hacked, the phones will be too. But the quality of the apps that will run "hacked" will be nowhere near what they could have been if Apple would just release their darn SDK for 3rd party developers.

An SDK and training at developer conference I think is coming.

If there is so much of a wiff that the phone is hackable, Corporate's ass would close so tight you wont be able to push a neadle in. These guys are Risk Adversed, big black eye for Apple.
 
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