Computerworld: iPhone Best for Business

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gilkisson, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. gilkisson macrumors 65816


    In a review by Computerworld, they did a round-up comparison of four phones: here is the link

    Apple's iPhone 3G
    HTC Touch Dual
    Nokia's E71
    Research In Motion's BlackBerry Curve 8310

    They tested four main "likely" functions:
    browsing the Web, sending and receiving e-mail, taking a photo and e-mailing it, and playing music and streaming video.

    In their review, the iPhone was their clear winner in three of the four categories, and a tie in the fourth. The only complaint was in sending an email, as they didn't like the keyboard as much as the E71's.

    They also lamented the lack of MMS, pointing out the iPhone as the only one of the four without that feature...

    Therefore, with reviews like these, I am abandoning wishing for MMS on the iPhone. I will not happen. In my opinion, MMS is dead, it just doesn't know it yet.

    Can still hope for C/P and Push, tho...:rolleyes:
  2. crobbins macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2006
    Glad to see the phone is getting such high regard in the business phone. I think this is an excellent device that easily blows the competition out of the water. As for MMS..I agree it probably won't happen ever, but I don't think it's necessarily dead yet.
  3. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    How is that a test for business users? Taking a photo and emailing it?? Playing music and videos?? Business must be slow.

    My brother, a lawyer, saw my new phone and asked if it would work for him... I had to say no -- while he might like the media players on his off time, the lack of a real keyboard would be a killer for the hundred emails he sends a day from his Blackberry. I doubt he has ever had to stream a mobile video to get his work done.
  4. jw nyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2008
    Steve? Is that you?
  5. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I have to say the tasks they picked definitely seem to be biased towards getting the iPhone on top. As a business user, this is what I do with my phone on a typical day:

    1) Make calls on it (obviously!)
    2) Send and receive lots of e-mails
    3) Use it handsfree in the car
    4) Use it tethered to my laptop
    5) Make calendar appointments

    I can see the emailing pictures being useful for some business users (such as insurance loss adjusters, but they'd probably need better quality photos anyway), but not the video watching :)
  6. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    Playing devil's advocate for a second....

    So for a "business" evaluation, they did a great job of looking at common business functions. :rolleyes: They didn't evaluate exchange/push email support, they didn't look at calendar/contact/to do support, they didn't look at ease of opening up complex attachments. This was an analysis of what phone you'd want to have when you're on a business trip and not working. That's not an analysis of a business phone.

    Also, there's some seriously unfair stacking going on there. They used an older windows mobile device that was never officially released in the US, and is basically the redheaded stepchild of the HTC windows mobile family. Windows Mobile 6.1 has dead simple setup of email accounts, so either the reviewer didn't know how to set it up or was using an earlier model, which is unfair when you're stacking against newer devices.

    Same goes for the blackberry. There are Blackberry Bolds out there, the reviewer could have gotten hold of one for the review.

    I'm not slamming the iPhone, it's a great device, and if the review were "How to have fun with your business phone" then the iPhone would clearly be the winner. But a review about the iPhone and business that skips over the whole, you know, business management side of it makes the review look ridiculously stupid.
  7. gilkisson thread starter macrumors 65816


    In the article, they explain their thinking behind that. When you are stuck on an airplane for hours, you can either do something or be bored. They tried to address the diversion time as well as the work time.

    For myself, I had a Treo with a full keyboard, before I went iPhone. I get up to 100 emails a day in my Exchange account. I would rather gargle thumbtacks than go back to the Treo for email. It really is flawless, or as close to it as I can expect for now. And once you learn to trust the keypad, it ain't bad. I'm actually faster now than I was with the full Treo keyboard.
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    This is one of the problems with the iPhone, though - trying to be everything to everyone can leave you unfocused. I do like to watch videos if I'm away in a hotel overnight, but I use my iPod touch for this as I find the E71 better suits me as an everyday business phone, and on the occasions I need a media device I use a device designed specifically for that. I had an iPhone but could never use it for watching videos in hotels because the battery would be dead by the time the day was over (and if you're in a hotel with no power near the bed and want to lay in bed watching something it's no good if the device has no battery left)...
  9. daisuke07 macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    How is MMS dead? You might as well get rid of the camera then. MMS allows you to send pictures and let the person see it faster than email... Sending pics and video through MMS is definitely not dead in Japan.
  10. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    You know as someone who has tethered a lot before, I don't recommend it for business use. It's fine if you only need tethering once in a blue moon, but if you need mobile wireless on a regular basis, tethering doesn't cut. The throughput over a handset is slow, and it chews through the battery pretty quickly. Laptop cards (particularly the HSUPA cards) are faster and do the job better.

    Yes, it's more expensive that way, but I've found that for work purposes, it's worth it to me to just plug in the card and have it work then to set up my jerry-rigged tether setup and then take time to troubleshoot it the 50% of the time something goes wrong.

    The rest of the stuff you list, I've done fine on my iPhone.

    It just all boils down to how used to are to doing things. Some people are very ingrained in the Windows Mobile/Blackberry way of doing things, and they will resist any new method that doesn't work they way they have learned things should. Others (like myself) have had bad experiences with WM/Blackberries, and were looking for something new that would work different. For the latter, that difference is what makes the iPhone worth it.

    The bottom line is, I don't think there IS a "best" phone for business. If one phone did everything for everyone, then they wouldn't all be so different. You've got your crackberry addicts, and you've got your iPhone addicts. Each will gladly tell you horror stories about the other platform.
  11. Whorehay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2008
    I dunno. I love the iPhone and everything it can do. I've had the original and the 3G and they have been very good devices. It's the do-everything phone since its software is most dynamic and fluid. The App Store cannot be beat.

    But I've been using a BB for some time now, and while the OS is archaic and the UI is ugly... there is just something functional about it. For example, the BB has so many useful one-click shortcuts that aren't possible on the iPhone.

    I just find with the full touchscreen, sometimes the most basic of operations takes a lot of steps. That's the trade-off I suppose.
  12. Aurial macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2008
    What're they on about??? It's the worst smartphone for business.

    I've got to get rid of mine because its as good as useless.
  13. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    One reason I would like to see it die is because AT&T considers them text messages. Therefore, I can see them charging extra for MMS messages. Meanwhile, e-mails are free and the data sent is part of our data package.

    It's really ridiculous that you have "unlimited" data but then have to pay 20 cents for an itty bitty text message.
  14. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    When I had the iPhone I used a separate USB modem but it was a pain because my MBA only has a single USB slot. With the E71 and Joikuspot the performance is identical to the USB modem (2.8MB/S) because it uses WiFi not Bluetooth. It actually costs me the same because the add on for 3GB internet is £15 a month whether it's on the phone or on a separate card.

    Tethering with my E71 is as simple as starting the application - it runs in the background and presents itself as a WiFi access point which I connect to - can't get much easier than that :) I tether my computer almost every day, and for me I prefer the use of the phone to a USB card, mainly because it leaves my USB slot free
  15. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The data part of MMS is "free" to you. It's the SMS part that isn't.

    Size is meaningless. It's the transport mechanism that costs.

    SMS is true push. It's a switched circuit call like an incoming ring. That means the system must look up where your phone is and redirect the paging signal to wherever you are in the world. Essentially you're making a very short phone call, thus the 10 or 20 cents.

    Data is packet based, with no dedicated circuit. When you get email, the phone itself is initiating the connection over the network to a server... not vice versa.

    Switched circuit calls cost by the minute, because they're using up SS7 signaling lines and other carrier phone call resources. Data calls cost by the byte because they're not continuous, and are routed from the tower to the internet as soon as possible.

    In other words, using the Internet in California does not use a connection all the way back to New York, as a phone call / SMS / MMS notification might.
  16. gilkisson thread starter macrumors 65816


    Regarding tethering: Yea, verily, I regret not having been fast enough to grab netshare when it was on the App Store. It would have been cool. Having said that, I've found from a practical point of view, I don't need it.

    If I have wifi available, I can use my laptop. If I don't, and I must get on a server somewhere and fix something, and I have 3G (or even Edge), I have the apps available on the iPhone to do what I need. Case in point: Couple of weeks ago, I was camping, out in the woods. (Side note: AT&T as of 2 years ago, had zilch for service in that area. Now I at least get Edge in the same place, so their service is expanding and improving) Had a database problem back at the office. Grabbed the iPhone, connected via VPN, fired up WinAdmin to open an RDP connection to server, got into the database, fixed the problem. Even over Edge, it worked well enough to get the job done.

    I don't need to tether to surf, as Safari (usually) works very well. Same for email, that just works.

    Tethering used to be almost mandatory -- the same scenario as described above once happened back my Treo days: using that device, it would not have been possible. So I *had* to tether, just to get anything done.

    Nowadays, I find I don't really need to tether, cool as it would be. And yes, I know I could jailbreak and easily do it anyways... but why? It appeals to my inner geek, sure. But pragmatically, it's actually easier to get what I must done, get back on the road, and use the laptop when I have wifi.
  17. gilkisson thread starter macrumors 65816


    I cannot argue with what is no doubt true today, that many do indeed use MMS often. I used to with my Treo, and to be honest, if I had it available on my iPhone, I probably still would.

    But, I think it's fairly obvious that more and more phones have true email capability. Snap a shot, hit the email button, done. Plus, I have the option of sending to anywhere, not just to another cell phone.

    Granted, if we had true Push working, this method would work just like MMS. And we will... we will... someday... soon?
  18. gilkisson thread starter macrumors 65816


    Truer words were never spoken. As always, "best" is in the eye of the beerholder. For myself, I can never go back to WM or Palm (although if I had to choose between those, I'd reluctantly use Palm. WM? Get a rope.)
  19. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I give you kudos for knowing all of that (man I hated trying to learn that in classes). But the heart of my beef is charging for SMS when I have all of that unlimited data. I have the old iPhone plan, so no problem for the 50 I send a month. But it's just uber ridiculous that a small amount isn't given to people in plans, maybe 50 or 100. When you spend $70/month on a phone plan, you shouldn't have to jack another 20 cents for a single little *text* message.

    Note that all of this is coming from someone who really doesn't use many. My last bill listed about 50.
  20. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Again, the unlimited data is meaningless when it comes to SMS, because those are really a phone call with special ring information (your text).

    Since SMS is a phone call, it gets charged like a phone call.

    A voice minute costs 15-45 cents. An SMS costs 2-20 cents.

    So SMS costs as if it were a very short phone call, which is what it is. So why doesn't it come out of your minutes? I suppose it could, but it would cost you more.

    And it's not exactly the same, because the phone company has to store and forward an SMS. If your recipient isn't available, they store the message for up to one or two days and keep trying. That costs extra for the carrier to support, especially with millions of them daily.

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