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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  • 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.

  • Ben Sellers, another website developer, said the iPhone's online applications were useful for business. "Every product we use is web-based, like collaboration tools and email," he told ZDNet.co.uk.

    Although the software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone is yet to be released — severely limiting the number of available third-party applications — several software companies have declared their products to be iPhone-compatible because they are web-based.

    The only aspect of the iPhone that did not impress Sellers is its lack of 3G functionality. The device only works on O2's slower Edge network, which will only cover 30 percent of the country by the end of this year. When outside Edge coverage, the device will fall back to the even slower GPRS network.

    "That's the only backwards step here," said Sellers, who currently uses Windows Mobile but is looking forward to the iPhone's bigger screen and better browser.

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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