ÜberTech


Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

Summary: The Verizon iPhone 4 will be a boon to many U.S. enterprise workers for at least three reasons (while I dismiss two other objections).

SHARE:

Gartner's Hype Cycle seems so quaint these days. Seemingly within minutes of Verizon's iPhone 4 launch on Tuesday morning, BNET's Damon Brown had a post up arguing that the Verizon iPhone is "not for serious business professionals."

Ouch for Brown, who sure fell into that Trough of Disillusionment quickly. I, on the other hand, see myself as a more of a glass-half-full kind of guy. So his objections didn't carry that much weight to me.

First, Brown argues that the lack of keyboard will keep many would-be business switchers on their BlackBerries. My reply: there is such a thing as third-party accessories. For instance, there is the $70 BoxWave Keyboard Buddy which is a case/slide-out keyboard for the iPhone 4. I got it for a pal for Christmas since, as I told his spouse, he texts as much as a teenage girl. It's not perfect - Engadget rates it a 7/10 for its solid sliding keyboard and look, but dings it slightly for the feel of the keyboard itself - but it seems like a solid option for keyboard addicts.

Second, Brown also points out some of the high-profile security problems found with iOS last year. My reply: many of those problems were solved by iOS 4. And in any case, any IT department worth its salt, security-wise, is starting to investigate or deploy mobile device management (MDM) software (full disclosure: such as Sybase's own market-leading Afaria) to get a firm grasp over its growing fleet of Android and iPhone devices (Microsoft Exchange not being sufficient, in most security pro views). For companies looking for a less-complicated solution, Verizon has a hosted MDM service in partnership with Sybase.

Moreover, the Verizon iPhone 4 is going to be a boon to enterprises in these three additional ways:

1) Another very solid carrier. While IT departments have been forced to allow a variety of devices into their enterprise (i.e. the 'Bring Your Own Device' movement), they have drawn a harder line at supporting multiple carriers (in the same country, anyway). So it's likely that plenty of iPhone-wielding workers couldn't get support or subsidies simply because their company had standardized on Verizon for its reputation of overall better coverage and voice quality. As Computerworld's Richi Jennings put it (sign-in required), Hello envious Verizon BlackBerry users!

2) Legal personal Wi-Fi hotspottethering. AT&T doesn't allow its users to use the iPhone as a modem for other devices, like a laptop. But it doesn't allow the iPhone to serve as a personal Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices and PCs. Sure, it's technically possible, if you run a jailbroken version of iOS, but it's mostly the kids doing that. Corporate workers whose iPhones are managed by their IT department can't do that. Verizon will let the iPhone serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 5 other devices. It might be pricey, but this will be a cost that enterprises will absorb for their traveling executives and salespeople, especially since alternatives such as iPass subscriptions are no cheaper.

3) More apps, especially enterprise ones. An analyst told Bloomberg that the Verizon should add 13.3 million new iPhone users this year, of which 11 million are net new users (2.3 million stolen from AT&T's total 23 million subscribers). Excluding AT&T's growth, Verizon alone will cause the ranks of iPhone users to swell by 50% in 2011. This will move even more developers to get off the iPhone sidelines, especially enterprise-oriented ones.

------

Are you an enterprise worker/IT manager considering the move to Verizon's iPhone? Why or why not?

Topics: ÜberTech, iPhone, Mobility, Verizon

Eric Lai

About Eric Lai

I have tracked technology for more than 15 years, as an award-winning journalist and now as in-house thought leader on the mobile enterprise for SAP. Follow me here at ÜberMobile as well as my even less-filtered musings on Twitter @ericylai

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

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

    title is "five good things", and there are only three!

    anyways, CDMA networks are known for better coverage, hopefully this apple will be able to make calls, and justify its name!
    anay3000
    • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

      Thanks for the info. :D <a href="http://www.rolexwatchesuk.co.uk">rolex replica</a>
      Good luck with your post. <a href="http://www.rolexwatchesuk.co.uk">rolex replicas</a>
      Your post have been very helpful! <a href="http://www.rolexwatchesuk.co.uk">replica watches uk</a>
      anonymous
    • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

      ahh you're so glam ! <3 <a href="http://www.replicachanelonline.org">replica purses</a>
      <a href="http://www.replicachanelonline.org">chanel replicas</a>
      <a href="http://www.replicachanelonline.org">chanel bags</a>
      meimeili
  • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

    Thanks for the mention, Eric! I appreciate you reading the post.

    The discussion wasn't about a hype cycle: The details of the Verizon iPhone were well known if you attended CES or knew people familiar with the deal and caught the buzz. The post was written an hour before the announcement and revised as such, hence the UPDATE added after the presentation. "Learning" that the iPhone 4 was not going to supporting Flash or tethering wasn't exactly a revelation.

    Second, as the previous commenter mentioned, you only listed 3 items in your 5 good things post. I look forward to your next 2.

    Third, you mention that security issues were cleared up with iOS 4, but the links and references I make in regards to security are actually *about* iOS 4.

    Finally, is a $70 keyboard a real solution to the iPhone not having a tactile one? The Buddy keyboard looks good, but why should we pay for it - and make the already thick smartphone thicker - when there are literally dozens of other smartphones available with keyboards included.

    I appreciate your optimism, but this seems a little too rosy.
    browndamon
    • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

      @browndamon Hey Damon - nice to hear from you. Point taken on lingering iOS 4 security glitches, but my bigger point is that enterprise users will (or should be) covered by mobile device management software that provides an extra layer of security and control.

      On keyboards - I personally am a keyboard fan, but as evidenced by how much headway the iPhone has already made into enterprises, many workers simply don't care, b/c the app and web experience on the iPhone is so much better than on most BlackBerries.

      @anay3000 and @browndamon Sorry for the confusing title: "2 Objections Refuted, 3 Enterprise Benefits Touted for Verizon iPhone" seemed too unwieldy for a headline :) I'm sure Damon understands.
      ericylai@...
    • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

      @browndamon
      Another iHater pessimist!
      Bay Area CA Male
  • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

    "An analyst told Bloomberg that the Verizon should add 13.3 million new iPhone users this year, of which 11 million are net new users (2.3 million stolen from AT&T?s total 23 million subscribers)"

    I find it hard to believe that 2.3 million current ATT customers are going to ditch ATT and give up simultaneous voice and data usage to go to Verizon. Do these 2.3 million customers KNOW what they will be giving up?
    rickp619
    • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

      @rickp619
      In 2-3 years of iPhone usage i have only used that a couple times. Furthermore, if i really need Voice + data ill sign up for google voice, save on minutes and have both availlable.
      Bay Area CA Male
      • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

        @Bay Area CA Male
        I have a jailbroken iphone with google voice so i dont use even a single minute of my alloted minutes every month at all. i've already racked up thousands of unused rollover minutes which I will never use and they continue to accrue.

        Are you sure youve used voice and data simultaneously only a couple of times during the past 2-3 years? There are many instances where you may have used data on your iphone while on a call without even knowing it. Examples of this are downloading or sending email during a phone call or on hold, surfing the web during a phone call or on hold, using a navigation app like mapquest while driving (while on a phone call or on hold), and last but not least, while making a google voice call using a jailbroken iphone.
        rickp619
  • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

    Interesting article Eric but I wanted to point out that for many corporate IT departments and users iPass is the most comprehensive and affordable connectivity solution that allows roaming both domestically and internationally with the world's most extensive Wi-Fi and 3G network with one person under one account for multiple devices. It's the devices that are (relatively) cheap, it's the networks that are expensive - especially when traveling abroad
    johnsf
    • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

      @johnsf Hi John - Point taken that iPass can be cost-effective for those going both domestically and internationally...for those traveling mostly within big U.S. cities, I can imagine an iPhone-generated hotspot for one's laptop sufficing very well.
      ericylai@...
  • RE: Five Good Things About the Verizon iPhone for Enterprises

    We had the iPhone and have switched to the droids on Verizon. The iPhone has too many problems to rely on it for anything important. iTunes is the biggest drawback to the iPhone being a serious enterprise phone. With the droid we hand them out and don't have to worry about installing iTunes and keeping up with the huge updates. Skip the iPhone and go with the droid.
    Zcubed
  • qxgltbs 07 kxq

    irbukx,tnciomhw14, iobln.
    cmakrekdw38-24379025853772833721877339441041