iPhone gaining support in corporate market | iLounge News

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iPhone gaining support in corporate market

Despite its lack of Exchange support, push email (other than Yahoo!), and 3G wireless, the iPhone is gaining ground in the business world, according to a Reuters report. Recently, software maker SAP announced that it will introduce a version of its upcoming customer relationship management software for the iPhone before releasing versions for Blackberry phones and Palm devices. “It’s fun,” Mike de la Cruz, senior VP with SAP, said. “It’s so popular.” According to Bob Stutz, SAP senior vice president in charge of developing customer relationship management software, the reason for the move was internal demand for the software, with SAP’s salespeople saying that the iPhone was easier to use. “This isn’t necessarily iPhone deployment by way of the IT department, but it’s by people who really want to use this device and IT is responding in a really positive way,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with market research firm Jupiter Research.

According to the article, the iPhone still faces challenges in the business market, mainly due to its lack of corporate push email support and its virtual keyboard. These challenges can be overcome, the article suggests, by adding support for Microsoft’s Exchange server, as well as adding tactile feedback to the phone’s keyboard. “What really made the iPod take off was when they made it compatible with Windows. So if they made the iPhone compatible with Windows e-mail, meaning Outlook, that would really make sales take off,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research. “If they get those pieces together, it would make iPhone a much stronger competitor.”

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Comments

1

I’m really hoping Apple licenses ActiveSync and adds it to the iPhone.  Being able to wirelessly do realtime email/calendar/contacts would make this perfect for my corporate usage.  I do light to medium email writing on the device and the keyboard is fine for me as is.

Posted by iaustin on December 10, 2007 at 10:37 AM (PDT)

2

Tactile Feedback?  Give me a break!  The iPhone keyboard works fine with some practice.  Shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Posted by Dr. Fegg on December 10, 2007 at 10:44 AM (PDT)

3

“So if they made the iPhone compatible with Windows e-mail, meaning Outlook, that would really make sales take off.”

Two things:

1). Sales have already taken off, and they’ll only go up in the near future.

2). Apple could care less for Exchange and Outlook support, they’re pushing open standards instead in order to displace Microsoft’s, much like they’re trumping Windows Media with AAC…

Posted by Mainyehc in Lisbon, Portugal on December 10, 2007 at 11:00 AM (PDT)

4

Apples and oranges, Mainyehc. Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook are ubiquituous in corporate business, whereas Windows Media/AAC is a consumer-driven market. Until support for Exchange is available, Blackberries and Palms will own the market.

Even Apple realizes this. It’s the gist behind half of the Mac/PC ads.

Posted by Tommy on December 10, 2007 at 3:35 PM (PDT)

5

I think Exchange support is really the most critical issue. I don’t dispute Mainyehc’s points but I do believe that Apple has much to gain by embracing what Tommy accurately terms the “ubiquitous” MS products. Let’s face it—the iPod would’ve probably been more of a niche device and less of a cultural icon if it had never migrated over to Windows machines back in 2002.

I believe Apple will do what’s necessary to increase its user base and hit that coveted 10 million mark by the end of next year. Right now, the desire seems to be geared toward pushing product and then bolstering consumer confidence after the fact by trickling in the era of third-party developers.

Blackberry and Palm still dominate the corporate landscape. If Apple wants to change that, they’ll have to make some concessions. Believe me, many of my friends would prefer to have the sleekness and cool factor of an iPhone, but their employer pays for a Blackberry and touts Exchange support as a prominent reason.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on December 10, 2007 at 3:59 PM (PDT)

6

Exchange support would be great.  I’m not a huge MS fan, but seriously, Exchange is the best platform I’ve ever worked on.  Interfaces flawlessly with Outlook, the web access is very feature-rich, easy interfacing of WM/Palm/Blackberry devices, etc.  Until a better product comes along corporate users will be using Exchange.  Hopefully Apple sees that this potential market is not small.

Posted by matt on December 12, 2007 at 7:56 PM (PDT)

7

Its only a matter of time before Outlook support is added.  The reason is simple:  it is only a matter of money.  Apple makes money from the cell providers who sign up users on an iphone.  In other words, the cell providers share revenue generated by the cell company. If Apple adds Outlook support, sales will take off in the enterprise market (yes, they already took off in the consumer market).  Apple knows this.  In short, if you think Apple was making oodles off the iphone as it is, imagine what they will make when outlook support is added.  Think at least double, with very limited and insignificant additional R&D (compared to what it took to make the iphone in the first place).

Posted by cisco on December 13, 2007 at 6:08 AM (PDT)

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