The iPhone Is Closer Than You Think - Page 3

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2008-01-12 Print this article Print

Similarly, Kristofor Swanson, vice president of learning and talent management for mobile strategy at Merrill Lynch, said that without better security and back-end administrative support, the iPhone will be an outsider at the financial services company, where the BlackBerry is standard issue.

Still, he sees similarities between the iPhone and the early Black-Berrys. "The BlackBerry went from a two-way pager to pushing the envelope," Swanson said. "The iPhone is only on Version 1-it's only [a matter] of time before there's a business-ready version of the iPhone."

And despite extensively cataloguing its deficiencies, Forrester's Gray wrote in a recent report that corporate IT must get ready for the day when the iPhone is a corporate reality. Mobile device management software vendors will probably add support for the iPhone's Mac OS X, he wrote. Meanwhile, the push from above will become irresistible: "C-level executives are buying them and expecting support from IT," Gray wrote. "It's only a matter of time before the iPhone filters down the corporate pyramid, and IT should have a strategy to handle these requests."

Even when it gains the missing features that corporate IT requires, a fully featured enterprise iPhone will face a deeply entrenched incumbent population of corporate Black-Berrys and Palm devices, among others.

And the vendors of these devices are certainly not standing still.

 "It's only a matter of time till we see a touch-screen BlackBerry device," said Swanson.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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