Business users meet gatecrashers at UK iPhone launch

Business users meet gatecrashers at UK iPhone launch

Summary: Some of the early adopters at the launch planned to use Apple's device for business, despite security warnings. But some were just unwelcome guests

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TOPICS: Networking
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  • Friday evening saw Apple's eagerly anticipated mobile handset, the iPhone, go on sale for the first time in the UK.

    At 6.02 pm — a nod to the operator O2 which has a "multi-year" exclusivity deal with Apple to support the iPhone in the UK — the doors of the Apple flagship store on Regent Street were opened to the earliest of London's early adopters.

    ZDNet.co.uk was there to speak to those in the queue who were considering using the iPhone as a work phone, although the thought had apparently not occurred to most who were lining up for Apple's handset, dubbed by some as the "Jesus Phone".

  • Although it wasn't easy to find anyone in the queue who intended to use the iPhone for business, there were some. Web designer Miles Tinsley, a self-employed and established Mac fan, seemed keen to make use of the device's Safari browser for work.

    "I'll be chucking out my Nokia," he told ZDNet.co.uk. Tinsley, who was switching operator from Vodafone to O2 to use the iPhone, said he intended to use Apple's web-based MacMail system, as well as the iCal calendar application. "A lot of my work is with web pages anyway," he said. "I'll use the iPhone when I haven't got my laptop."

  • The story was different for many of those who worked for larger corporations. One example was Richard Innes, who works in finance in the City.

    Currently a BlackBerry user, Innes said he doubted he would be allowed to use his iPhone in a business setting. "It's a big corporate network," he said. "If I was in the media, I could easily use the iPhone, but I don't think I could use it in a corporate environment."

    O2 has warned that many procurement departments may not allow employees to transfer their work numbers to an iPhone because it is only available on a consumer tariff. The security implications of the device's use in a corporate setting have also not yet been established.

Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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