The iPhone Is Closer Than You Think - Page 2
The development of corporate applications for the iPhone will be a critical factor in determining the device's success or failure in the enterprise. Although a few applications have been developed, the iPhone shipped without an SDK (software development kit). Things could change soon, however, as Apple is readying an SDK for release in February. But with the emergence of Google's Android mobile application, which is backed by the OHA (Open Handset Alliance) and its 34 industry participants, the iPhone could find its SDK playing second fiddle to Android. Some tea leaf readers, however, foresee connections between Android and the iPhone, pointing to the fact that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt also sits on the board of Apple.Until it gains the features that enterprises demand, the iPhone will remain an unsupported enterprise device, eliciting a draconian response from corporate IT. "We have had a couple of requests about the iPhone," said Greg Smith, CIO at the World Wildlife Fund. "People wanted to know when we would buy iPhones. The answer is, we have a standard [the BlackBerry]. It's a platform that has been very well researched. If the device has not been bought by us, it is not supported or integrated." Despite that hard line, Smith is not blind to historical parallels. "We used to hear the same thing about the PC," he said. Compatibility with Microsoft's Exchange Server would be a big boost for the iPhone, said Smith. "Most corporations might pay for it if it were integrated," he said.
Other iPhone developments could change the corporate equation. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said publicly that an iPhone with features that can be exploited by third-generation wireless networks will roll out this year. 3G capabilities include higher speeds, advanced multimedia support and global roaming.