Apple shipped 8.3 million units of its iPhone in Q1, helping the company to its $3.38 billion profit. Apple COO Tim Cook said on the Q1 earnings call Jan. 25 that business use of the iPhone doubled since the release of the faster iPhone 3GS last summer. Cook said roughly 70 percent of Fortune 100 companies are testing or using iPhones as their corporate communications device, thanks largely to support for Microsoft Exchange. This sets the stage for the iPhone's assault on RIM's BlackBerry, analysts believe.
Apple doubled in the first quarter the number of iPhones it sold
in the first quarter from a year ago, shipping 8.3 million
units of the world's most popular smartphone and pushing the company to its
$3.38 billion profit.
But don't think those devices all went to teenagers and soccer moms. Yes,
the success of the iPhone extends to the enterprise.
Apple COO Tim Cook said
on the Q1 earnings call Jan. 25 that business use of the
iPhone doubled since the release of the faster iPhone 3GS last summer. Cook
said roughly 70 percent of Fortune 100 companies are testing or using iPhones
as their corporate communications device, thanks largely to support for
"Those are some pretty staggering numbers when you think that the time
frame we've been in the business is only two and half years," Cook said.
Maybe, but the iPhone still has miles to go to catch Research In Motion's
BlackBerry, whose keyboard-laden devices with secure virtual hooks into the
enterprise through the vaunted BlackBerry Enterprise Server have made RIM the
darling in enterprise mobility for giants such as IBM.
IBM just augmented its partnership with
RIM. One year after RIM created
a new BlackBerry client for IBM's
Lotus Sametime instant messaging application, RIM said
it would sell BlackBerry Client for IBM
Lotus Quickr and a new version of the BlackBerry Client for IBM
Those are the kinds of contracts that could serve the iPhone well in the
corporate sector, and indeed IBM also just
launched a Lotus Notes Traveler Companion plug-in to let iPhone users read
their encrypted Lotus Notes e-mail.
Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler said in an April 2009 research note
that some business workers prefer the iPhone to a BlackBerry because document
viewing, WebEx presentations and Internet access are better on the iPhone.
"As developers build new applications for SharePoint access, data
analysis, multiway conferencing and training, the work force can leave their
laptops at work," Schadler noted.
"In this era of Technology Populism, where consumer IT is often better
than enterprise IT, it sometimes just makes sense to give employees the freedom
to choose the tools they want," he added. "If an iPhone makes an
employee happy, then supporting it will deliver collateral benefits of a
happier work force and a new line of communication between IT and
Tempering the heady talk of iPhone's betrothal to the enterprise is a report
from independent industry analyst Jack Gold.
The analyst wrote
in a Jan. 13 research note that many enterprise users are
getting pushback from IT departments that are restricting and preventing the
use of iPhones. However, security, manageability and cost aren't necessarily
always the sticking points.
"Few IT groups will offer to support a new device (iPhone in this case,
but any new device like Android or netbooks) without a significant amount of
pressure being exerted from its end-user community. And, as was the case with
BlackBerry in the early days of its adoption, if the end users can find a way
around the restrictions limiting the use of the technology, they will. So one
of the key issues for broader iPhone adoption is: Will the end users find a way
to circumvent the IT infrastructure and use the device anyway?"
Gold believes the market is a full year away from fully sanctioned
deployments in most enterprises, and once that happens, RIM's BlackBerry
devices may see a slow decline.