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iPhone into Business Does Go
iPhone Users are becoming business savvy

The New York Times has posted an article with the headline, “Apple iPhone Owners Don’t Use It For Work” – quite a bold statement, though now has been clarified and re-written as "Apple iPhone Owners Favor Personal Uses, Not Business". The writer, Jenna Wortham, sites findings from a Compete study who surveyed smartphone users and seems to be taking a perspective that the iPhone is being used for personal productivity whereas users of BlackBerry, Nokia, HTC and such use it for business/work needs. You can find the New York Times article here.

In response to the New York Times article, Robin Wauters wrote a blog on TechCrunch questioning where the survey stats were coming from and how the headline was misleading as they feel the iPhone is for both work and play. Robin cites findings from AdMobs Mobile Metrics report and a study by JD Power and Associates which ranked iPhone high in customer satisfaction for “business wireless smartphone users” and that 50% of all smartphone web traffic in the U.S. comes from iPhone devices.  You can find the blog posting here.

I agree with both sides, though I side with Robin and I know that times, they are a changing! Its my opinion that you have to look at the broader picture of these devices. Obviously Blackberry has been around a lot longer and is intrenched into Corporate IT, but how did it get there?

The RIM guys did a great job in seeding the C-Level with their perfect application... e-mail and once the top level bought in they became common place for any self respecting company and their employees. That is only the first wave in mobility - communications and that is where the Blackberry has been firmly rooted for the last few years. There are at least two more waves that I have identified in a previous article and I believe Apple are already there in all three.

Apple started with a great device and OS that totally overtook the consumer base and is now infiltrating the Enterprise market. Why? Well because the device is easy to use, fun to use and has more capabilities that its rivals. Its success has been built upon with the overwhelming success of Apple's App Store, who just recently had its 1 Billionth Application downloaded and currently has approximately 35,000 applications available. Of course there were issues that the Enterprise market needed to have addressed, such as manageability & security etc and now that Apple and third-party companies such as Sybase are addressing them, its my belief as well as a lot of Industry Analyst, such as Forester Research, that now is the time for the Enterprise iPhone.

I have also just closed a LinkedIn poll that only went to bolster my feelings on this subject.... that Apple need to be in the process of convincing the C-Level and in turn the IT folks... the potential users are already sold on the idea.

Why has the the iPhone not been more widely adopted by Enterprises?

Now we are seeing RIM follow Apple, by opening their own version of an App Store called Blackberry App World (see Larry Dignan from CNET), but I think this is possibly something that will not 'take off' or at least challenge Apple's position.  I think it will be far easier for Apple to grow their market share into the Enterprise Market via the App Store, as they have the solid & ever expanding base of cool users, of which a high percentage are business savvy, where I cannot see the point of the Blackberry equivalent!

Are the Blackberry Users now ready for apps and will they use productivity utilities, education, lifestyle, Finance, Books, Reference, News, Navigation, Sports, Travel etc etc? I do not think so, as most only use it for standard email and are happy with that. Whereas Apple have a wealth of developers that once they see the adoption in business will develop some mind blowing innovative applications, and that is what business needs now in this economic climate.

Watch out iPhone Users are becoming business savvy!

Ian

About Ian Thain
As one of the Sybase Technical Evangelists, Ian regularly addresses technical audiences all over the world and his sessions are always very well attended. He also writes education classes, whitepapers, demos and articles for various Sybase products and publishes regularly in Journals such as SYS-CON's PBDJ and International Developer Magazine. He is also the Sybase Unwired Platform & PocketBuilder Evangelist and works closely with the team in Dublin, CA and Concord, MA on new features and demonstrations for the products. In his customer-facing Evangelist role, Ian is very involved with the design, production and testing of Enterprise class Unwired Solutions, that have been implemented using Sybase's Unwired tools for Sybase customers around the globe. In addition, Ian is a dedicated technical expert continually working with Sybase's key partners and clients to enhance the capabilities of the Unwired solutions that Sybase can offer to its customers. Ian can also be found on Twitter @ithain

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