A few people have written about this over the last few days but I thought I’d mention a few things I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere.
Over on LinkedIn there’s a Poll asking the question ‘What will be the widestly adopted Enterprise Mobile Device in 2009?’. Although not that scientific (there’s no accounting for whether the respondents are actually in a position to assess or influence the matter) it does pose some interesting questions, for example is the iPhone ready for widespread enterprise adoption?
I reckon it is, but within limits. For people that just want a smartphone that will access their mailbox, calendar, contacts and the web then I reckon the iPhone does a fantastic job. It’s not perfect by any means, but for your average user it’s fine. It does pretty much everything Windows Mobile can do but with a tad more style, and without the extra infrastructure/services a Blackberry solution would need.
What’s more, by supporting Microsoft’s ActiveSync protocol not only does it play nicely with Exchange, it also supports Exchange’s basic device management capabilities (enforce pin codes, remote wipe etc). That support makes the iPhone a lot more acceptable to corporate IS departments – quite how many use device management is another matter…
Of course if you have existing mobile applications you need to support then the iPhone may not fit quite yet. But business apps are starting to trickle through onto the App Store (Salesforce, Oracle) and with Apples simple model for publishing and distribution I’m sure many more will follow.
To me though the key thing the iPhone has in its favour are the end users. Ultimately to most people, phones and smartphones – even their work ones – are personal devices. And even as a long time Windows Mobile user I have to say that the iPhone walks all over it’s competition as a phone everyone can use and enjoy.
I’m still looking forward to seeing Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7.0 though… :)