Well, come to think of it, iPhone at work might not be such a bad idea

Yesterday, I blogged an item about a report from venerable Forrester Research citing 10 reasons why you might not want to use an iPhone at work.Yes but last night, Ben Worthen of the newly Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal posted a rebuttal of those assertions.

Yesterday, I blogged an item about a report from venerable Forrester Research citing 10 reasons why you might not want to use an iPhone at work.

Yes but last night, Ben Worthen of the newly Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal posted a rebuttal of those assertions.

Ben's counterpoint came to be via an exchange of views with Mark Goble, executive vice president at healthcare advertising company Goble & Associates, a healthcare advertising company.

This summer, this Goble guy bought 20 iPhones, approximately one for each of his account managers. And he swears by these devices.

Goble rebuts each of Forrester's criticisms as follows (note, Forrester's criticisms are bold faced).

1. Other smartphones can check for new emails every minute, but the iPhone only checks every 15 minutes. Goble can see how minutes might matter to some businesses, but in his experience, it’s been a non issue.

2. The iPhone doesn’t support software developed by third parties. Goble tells us that this is offset by all the software that his staff can access over the Internet through the iPhone’s Web browser, which is better than any other he’s used on a phone.

3. It’s impossible to encrypt the data on an iPhone. Goble tells us that all of his company’s iPhones are password protected. This isn’t the same as encryption, but he says that the old phones weren’t encrypted either.

4. A lost iPhone can’t be erased via remote. Goble acknowledges this is a problem, but says there’s a backup plan in place: If an iPhone is lost, the tech department will disable the phone owner’s accounts. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s good enough.

5. The touch-screen keyboard leads to typos. Goble tells us that this was true at first, but hasn’t been a problem once people got used to the touch screen.

6. The iPhone only works on AT&T’s network. Goble tells us this is his biggest complaint. But it’s not because the service is bad: It’s because AT&T won’t let him open a business account so the bills get sent to three different personal accounts. Goble calls it “absurd,” but considers it an administrative headache. He doesn’t blame the iPhone.

7. IPhones are twice as expensive as other smartphones. Yes, the iPhone has a higher price tag, Goble tells us, but it’s such a productivity booster that he’ll make that back in no time. “I know what our hourly rates are,” he jokes. The iPhone’s browser is one reason for the improved productivity, but another is that it’s just easier to use than most phones.

8. The iPhone is in its first generation and first generation products all have kinks. This is undeniable, but Goble tells us his company carefully evaluated the iPhone and thought that the benefits outweighed the risks.

9. The iPhone doesn’t have a removable battery. This never crossed Goble’s mind. When pressed, he asked us how many spare batteries we carried around for our BlackBerry.

10. There just aren’t a lot of examples of companies using iPhones. Goble agrees that it’s new. But that just means his company gets a competitive advantage by using the devices. “The bottom line is that they’re better than what we had before,” he tells us.

Well, maybe it is time we did a poll on this issue.

[poll id=179]

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