1 in 6 businesses to support iPhone
Approximately one in six businesses is likely to be supporting iPhones within a year, according to a report by Goldman Sachs analyst Jason Armstrong. A check with technology executives shows about 17 percent of them planning to support the device within one year, allowing workers to use the Apple device for company e-mail and other business roles. The welcome for the device is a “very strong number” for a device which hasn’t yet been released and is only likely to increase once companies can test the phone, Armstrong says.
Aside from bolstering Apple, the launch is also thought to help AT&T by driving corporate iPhone purchases, which will need a more expensive $45 data plan for full Exchange and VPN support. The move could drive up the US carrier’s average income per user regardless of the exact plan, according to the analyst.
The desire represents a tangible shift in perception for Apple, which has until now had the iPhone all but excluded from enterprises and most other larger businesses because it lacked both a portal for most common work calendars and e-mail as well as hooks for third-party apps that are necessary at some firms.
Such a change in support, however, isn’t believed to necessarily translate into corporate purchases, which are often dictated by bulk discounts on phones in addition to software concerns. While Apple is largely recognized as second place in the US for smartphone marketshare, nearly all businesses choose either Research in Motion’s BlackBerry lineup or various Windows Mobile devices for both their lower volume pricing as well as veteran support for “push” info only now coming to the iPhone.