Well, come to think of it, iPhone at work might not be such a bad idea

Well, come to think of it, iPhone at work might not be such a bad idea

Summary: Yesterday, I blogged an item about a report from venerable Forrester Research citing 10 reasons why you might not want to use an iPhone at work.Yes but last night, Ben Worthen of the newly Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal posted a rebuttal of those assertions.


Yesterday, I blogged an item about a report from venerable Forrester Research citing 10 reasons why you might not want to use an iPhone at work.

Yes but last night, Ben Worthen of the newly Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal posted a rebuttal of those assertions.

Ben's counterpoint came to be via an exchange of views with Mark Goble, executive vice president at healthcare advertising company Goble & Associates, a healthcare advertising company.

This summer, this Goble guy bought 20 iPhones, approximately one for each of his account managers. And he swears by these devices.

Goble rebuts each of Forrester's criticisms as follows (note, Forrester's criticisms are bold faced).

1. Other smartphones can check for new emails every minute, but the iPhone only checks every 15 minutes. Goble can see how minutes might matter to some businesses, but in his experience, it’s been a non issue.

2. The iPhone doesn’t support software developed by third parties. Goble tells us that this is offset by all the software that his staff can access over the Internet through the iPhone’s Web browser, which is better than any other he’s used on a phone.

3. It’s impossible to encrypt the data on an iPhone. Goble tells us that all of his company’s iPhones are password protected. This isn’t the same as encryption, but he says that the old phones weren’t encrypted either.

4. A lost iPhone can’t be erased via remote. Goble acknowledges this is a problem, but says there’s a backup plan in place: If an iPhone is lost, the tech department will disable the phone owner’s accounts. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s good enough.

5. The touch-screen keyboard leads to typos. Goble tells us that this was true at first, but hasn’t been a problem once people got used to the touch screen.

6. The iPhone only works on AT&T’s network. Goble tells us this is his biggest complaint. But it’s not because the service is bad: It’s because AT&T won’t let him open a business account so the bills get sent to three different personal accounts. Goble calls it “absurd,” but considers it an administrative headache. He doesn’t blame the iPhone.

7. IPhones are twice as expensive as other smartphones. Yes, the iPhone has a higher price tag, Goble tells us, but it’s such a productivity booster that he’ll make that back in no time. “I know what our hourly rates are,” he jokes. The iPhone’s browser is one reason for the improved productivity, but another is that it’s just easier to use than most phones.

8. The iPhone is in its first generation and first generation products all have kinks. This is undeniable, but Goble tells us his company carefully evaluated the iPhone and thought that the benefits outweighed the risks.

9. The iPhone doesn’t have a removable battery. This never crossed Goble’s mind. When pressed, he asked us how many spare batteries we carried around for our BlackBerry.

10. There just aren’t a lot of examples of companies using iPhones. Goble agrees that it’s new. But that just means his company gets a competitive advantage by using the devices. “The bottom line is that they’re better than what we had before,” he tells us.

Well, maybe it is time we did a poll on this issue.

[poll id=179]

Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones, Telcos

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I use one

    Being a solo consultant, it's been ideal for scheduling and email. Maps have been a great help for travel.

    I still don't like read only docs/spreadsheets and lack of cut and paste, but my productivity has gone up since I switched.

    Best of all, it makes the peers drool.
    • Message has been deleted.

  • RE: Well, come to think of it, iPhone at work might not be such a bad idea

    I recently converted from the venerable Treo to the iPhone. There are significant differences, but I agree that it does work in and for the work place. I run a small nonprofit and we are turning more and more to web based solutions. The iPhone is poised for this strategy and does so far better than the Treo. Aside from the registration as a personal account, which is a misnomer, this is a hot work place tool. To me it's like the fight between Mayweahter and Hatton. Sure Hatton kept coming and there was lots of noise from the crowd, but throughout the fight and in the end, Treo/Voyager/Blackberry, I mean Hatton, was getting tagged and eventually fell. Wait until the next generation of iPhones arrive (the competition shouldn't take that lightly).
    New Haven, CT
  • The battery thing worries me.

    What happens when the battery needs replacing? I guess it's a non-issue for a business that can send it off for replacement and pay the cost of the labor. But I had an original iPAQ and the non-replaceable battery finally made the item unusable for me.
    • you can replace it...

      it's just a bit of a hassle. this company sells a kit with instructions for $25. or, they will do it for you.

      • correction

        battery is $20. with installation is $25.
      • I prefer just to replace the iPhone

        I hate giving money to those who [b]LEECH[/b] off the success of Apple. Apple deserves to get paid for their inventions and I, for one, refuse to reward a [b]LEECH[/b] just to save a couple hundred bucks. I look at it like this: I love everything Apple invents but they can't do it without R&D (Micro$ux is lucky since they just copy Apple, no R&D required). Whenever I buy a new iPhone, I feel like I'm contributing to the next generation of wonderful Apple inventions. The only downside is that I'm also contributing to the next 5 generations of horrible Micro$ux copies. :(
        • give ME some of that money you're throwing away

          So you'd rather spend hundreds to replace the entire iPhone rather than spend $25 to have someone else do it because Apple won't? That's not customer loyalty, that's just plain stupidity. You go buy your new iPhone when the battery dies and give me your old one. I'll pay the $20 for the battery and change it out myself.

          It sounds like the thinking this Goble guy has. He sounds like he's got more money than he knows what to do with. There are other devices that (for the money) are better than the iPhone (at least the current version). This guy is willing to pay what it costs to have 3 seperate personal accounts JUST to have the iPhone. He could open a business account with another phone that has all the features of security and productivity that the iPhone doesn't. Don't like windows mobile, get something with an os like Symbian. It's pretty nice actually. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like he's going through a lot and spending more money than he should just to have the latest piece of gadget pron. The later versions of the iPhone may be worth the price especially if they untie if from the ghastly iTunes, but for now it's not.
        • 2.0

          Mike Cox you ain't
  • Sort of related - Palm laying off

    Mercury News & AP say Palm is firing around 10% of its employees.

    • HAHA!! Serves them right for not working at Apple!!

      I also feel sorry for all the workers at Micro$ux. Apple is well on its way to capturing [url=http://www.changewave.com/freecontent/viewalliance.html?source=/freecontent/2007/12/alliance-121107-AppleMacsDominantPCStoryOf_08.html] a 30% marketshare in 90 days [/url] and in a year, I predict that Apple will have 100% marketshare. We will see [b]massive[/b] layoffs at Dell, HP, and Micro$ux and I can't wait to dance in front of those sad unemployed Micro$erfs showing off my beautiful iPhone! That's a fact!
      • 1.5

        As Mike Cox knows, one comment should suffice.
  • RE: Well

    [i]"Ben?s counterpoint came to be via an exchange of views with Mark Goble, executive
    vice president at [b]healthcare advertising company[/b] Goble & Associates, a
    [b]healthcare advertising company.[/b]"[/i]

    So... it's a healthcare advertising company? (grin)
  • iphone edge network vs nokia 3G


      I've also noticed that downloading iTMS songs with my MacBook Pro (PC World has called this the fastest computer in the world) is faster on an 802.11b wireless network than on my work's gigabit network using Pista. As soon as I realized that, I ripped all the wires out of my home network and replaced them with an 802.11b network. I'm also recommending this to all of my friends. They ask me if I've got more than one data point to prove that slower networks are faster than faster networks and now I have 2 example: mine and yours! I don't need no stinkin gigabit network when I have Safari! That's a fact!
      • tool

        Who said anything about Microsoft. Take your meds tool.
        • You do realize that the Zealot..

          has publicly admitted to having an anti-Apple obsession.

          He's apparently decided that no one should be able to have any reasonable
          discussion, nor share any information, about any Apple product. He's therefore taken
          to flooding every blog on ZDNet that mentions Apple with idiotic posts, as he's done
  • The iPhone IS my work phone

    I work for a well-known web application development
    company based in Silicon Valley. We have a variety of phones
    to choose from. I picked the iPhone 3G from the list and it is
    fully supported. Email and calendar are synced with our
    company's Exchange server and I often get the email on my
    iPhone before it shows up in Outlook. From what I've seen,
    the tech/engineering upper management folks carry iPhones;
    the finance/admin upper management folks use Blackberries
    and everyone seems happy.