There have been rumors abound that Apple is bringing the iPhone to the enterprise. Many companies are clamoring for it but I really do not see it happening at least for quite awhile. John Fortt and Michal Lev-Ram of CNNmoney do a great job of detailing the major obstacles in the way of the iPhone but I felt like I had to add a few of my own.
First of all Apple would have to let go of iTunes. I personally don’t believe that there is a snowballs chance in hell that Apple would do such a thing. On top of that I do not see companies trying to justify the employee productivity loss of having iTunes. Also imagine desktop support trying to help you through downloading music to your business device.
The second obstacle I see in their way was touched upon in the CNN article. Security. The iPhone was not built as a secure device. There is no content encryption as all the jailbreakers have proven. Even without content encryption the device does not allow for remote control and administration of the device. This is the driving force for companies adopting BlackBerry devices. On the other hand I do see many companies that currently use Windows Mobile who may be tempted by an enterprise iPhone.
The biggest obstacle I see will probably be remediated by Apple finally releasing their much delayed iPhone SDK. The lack of 3rd party applications has limited the iPhone in many ways to being a 1 trick horse. Once the floor is open to more developers the device will get a chance to branch out to corporate applications and other features. The main problem I see is that Apple has always been a control freak. There have already been rumors that Apple will be crippling the SDK.
Last of all as research dictates RIM is DOMINATING the enterprise market with over 73% penetration in a recent survey by ChangeWave. The interesting part about that survey is that is shows quite a bit of interest in the enterprise market for iPhones. I was shocked that 11% responded saying that their companies plan to purchase iPhones.
I think that the iPhone threat is something that RIM should take seriously. The iPhone does a few things well that I really make it shine over the competition. Those two features are HTML email and a full web browser. RIM has a thing or two to learn from Apple when it comes to these two features. Imagine if we actually had a full web browser? Or if HTML email did not keep on getting delayed?
What do you think?