iPhone capabilities attracting business users

It may be a consumer device, but the multimedia-friendly iPhone is causing some business users to dump their BlackBerrys.

Despite the perceived security problems and consumer focus, Apple's iPhone is appealing more and more to the business community, mainly because of its internet functionality.

BlackBerrys have been popular among the business set for some time now, but their restriction to email use and limited web browser capabilities is causing a rethink on their suitability in the enterprise. Business users are finding the internet capabilities of Apple's iPhone appealing and very useful.

Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom says BlackBerry maker RIM will have to step up its efforts and product development in order to compete. "BlackBerrys are mainly for email but they aren't good for attachments and have poor internet connections."

Additions need to be made to the iPhone in order for it to become more business friendly. "The iPhone needs to support Exchange 2007 and [proper] push email as a feature along with storing contacts and maintaining a calendar."

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Security must also be improved and users must be provided with a way to encrypt information and prevent access if the device is stolen.

Longbottom also says it is best if large and mid-size companies stay away from the iPhone. It is simply too costly, although it may be possible for small businesses to use the phone if each employee were to buy one themselves, with the company providing the support. However, it is too early to tell if and how the iPhone may adapt to become more business friendly.

What exactly is the ultimate cause for business interest in the iPhone?

"Pure hype," said Longbottom.

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