Research firm Gartner issued a "How to Plan for User Interest in the Apple iPhone" research note today that despite its arguably welcoming title, expressly recommends that enterprise IT not consider buying iPhones at this time.
Analyst and report co-author Ken Delaney writes that "general requests to support iPhone should not be fulfilled on the basis that the device cannot be fully secured and managed" to levels Gartner has described for smart phones.
"IT organizations should refuse to support the iPhone at this time," the research note points out. And then comes this zinger:
"If for political reasons this is not an option, then the iPhone should be placed under the concierge support level ... meaning that support will be granted as an exception, with the associated costs for support covered by a monthly billing to pay for the dedicated support staff uniquely trained for this device."
The note also quantifies the iPhone total cost of ownership as twice that of a BlackBerry or Palm Treo.
Several specific negatives to iPhone adoption in the enterprise are listed in the Gartner report. These include:
- Apple's "rudimentary" experience designing mobile devices specifically for the enterprise;
- Lack of support from mobile management and mobile security software utilities;
- Lack of compatibility with major business e-mail systems;
- An operating system not licensed to third-party hardware suppliers, resulting in no backup;
- No removable battery, creating the potential for increased support costs;
- Only one carrier operator (AT&T Wireless);
- The high price point, $499 for 4GB or $599 for 8GB.