Why shouldn't companies have the option of giving employees the phone of their choice? Maybe some organizations think that, with the applications, the iPhone is the best product on the market for them. Without an AT&T contract, they'll need to stick with a second-rate device. And that's not right. If employees can't have the best phone when they need it, it only hurts the company.
Ubiquity isn't the only issue in play here. RIM's strategy has been one of carrier-agnosticism for quite some time. It has seen that in order to appeal to the enterprise most effectively, phones must be made available on every carrier. But is RIM's strategy also hurting the corporate world?
RIM knows it's the only major enterprise-friendly organization providing phones to companies. It knows that the iPhone is its main competitor. And it also knows that any employee at a company that doesn't have an AT&T contract will probably choose a BlackBerry. Does that breed complacency?
As long as it's available on one carrier, the iPhone probably won't be able to dominate the BlackBerry in the enterprise. RIM knows that. And it also knows that although its devices might not be the most coveted by some, as long as they're good enough, companies will keep buying them when they can't have iPhones.
Competition is good for all parties. It ensures that the best products are being made available to the users who need them most. It leads to better products being released. And it also brings prices down. That's precisely why competition is so important to companies that do business with carriers. Exclusivity ensures that companies simply won't get the features, the prices or the devices they need to be as productive as possible.
So, as exclusivity continues to grip the cell phone industry, it's important to remember that it's having a detrimental impact on the enterprise. The longer that goes on, the greater the chance that companies won't have the products they need. And that's not right.