Gartner: do not mix business with iPhone

June 22, 2007

Gartner: do not mix business with iPhoneIt may well be the most anticipated mobile phone ever launched, but Gartner vice president, Ken Dulaney, is advising businesses to stay away from Apple’s soon-to-be-released iPhone.

While Dulaney believes the iPhone is likely to make a major impact on the consumer market, he doesn’t believe the new phone has much to offer business.

“The iPhone is basically a cellular iPod with some other capabilities, and it’s important that it be recognized as such,” Dulaney told NetworkWorld

The iPhone is set to launch in the US on June 29, with a retail price of US$499 for the 4GB version, and US$599 for the 8GB version. iPhone users will be bound to a two year service contact with mobile phone network AT&T, which has a five year exclusive deal with Apple to distribute the iPhone in the US. Details of the service contracts have not yet been released.

Dulaney said businesses should avoid the iPhone for a number of reasons, including its:

  • High retail price
  • Lack of a firewall
  • Lack of support for Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes
  • Poor security (data cannot be deleted if the handset is lost, for example)

“Enterprises are not going to buy this so employees can buy music and watch movies,” said Dulaney.

“Business has a very narrow purview of what they want to get done.”

While the Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple does plan to take on the business market, and companies like RIM (manufacturer of the BlackBerry), Palm, Nokia, and Motorola, every indication so far is that Apple’s primary target is consumers.

Without support for Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes, Apple has made it very difficult for the iPhone to become a mainstream coporate accessory, though I’m sure that some enterprising executives will find some way for the iPhone to make it into their suit jacket pockets. 

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