Businesses warming up to Apple iPhone

Consumers just love the sleek face and curvy lines of Apple's iPhone 3G, but what about the business community?
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Consumers just love the sleek face and curvy lines of Apple's iPhone 3G, but what about the business community?

According to CNET's Tom Krazit, RIM's BlackBerry is under assault from Apple's "Jesus phone" -- and better keep an eye behind it:

The iPhone is making a guerrilla attack on the business world, brought into the corporate world by influential executives, CIOs rethinking their approach to deploying technology, and younger workers who move seamlessly between their personal and business lives.

There are several high-profile businesses, such as Genentech and Disney (both with strong ties to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, of course), that have declared their intentions to work with Apple on deploying iPhones inside their corporations. That seems to be having the effect of increasing the overall number of business smartphone users, however, rather than turning the iPhone into any kind of "BlackBerry killer."

But we haven't reached parity quite yet. Krazit notes the burgeoning trend in some statistics:

  • At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Jobs said 33 percent of the Fortune 500 had participated in Apple's beta program for the iPhone 2.0 software.
  • 65.5 percent of North American businesses that deploy mobile computers say they actively support the BlackBerry, compared with 22 percent that support Windows Mobile devices and just over 10 percent that support the iPhone, according to J. Gold Associates.

And some corporate anecdotes to go with, including one CTO says his company is too entrenched in BlackBerrydom to make the switch:

"Our reasons for not doing so have more to do with the age-old issue of having a finite number of internal resources to support our firm's technology. Given our already significant investment in BlackBerry, we cannot make a strong business case for adopting yet another platform."

The problem? Apple's only got AT&T, for one, and there are still some concerns about iPhone security with regard to custom apps. Plus there's that whole iTunes app to deal with.

On the other hand, smaller companies with more room to move seem to be adopting the iPhone more quickly than their corporate behemoth counterparts. And the upcoming BlackBerry Storm is, in this year's political parlance, a "game-changer" in terms of how corporations are looking at their mobile contracts.

What do you think: Will businesses make trade-offs for the iPhone? Tell us in TalkBack.

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