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Two out of five US iPhones sold to enterprises, says AT&T

AT&T's chief Ron Spears has said that four out of 10 sales of Apple's smartphone are by enterprise users, replacing the need for laptops

AT&T's Ron Spears, chief executive of the telecoms company's Business Solutions unit, said Apple's iPhone has plenty of traction in the enterprise and in some cases is replacing a laptop purchase.

Spears' comments, made at the Barclays Capital Communications, Media and Technology conference on Thursday, shed some rare light on Apple's business sales via AT&T. Apple has an enterprise sales force, but its business sales are a rounding error at best relative to its consumer units.

"Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users. When the iPhone came out, what most people heard in the first year from '07 to '08 was, 'oh my God, it's not BlackBerry secure. This is not going to work on the enterprise space'," Spears said.

"At the end of the day, it's just software. That's all it is. By the time the 3G came out in '08 they had solved about 80 percent of the security issues."

For more on this story, see AT&T exec: 4 out of 10 of our iPhone sales to enterprises on ZDNet.com