10 Reasons IT Should Not Support the Apple iPhone

Forrester Research says IT departments should refuse to support Apple iPhones, even if CEOs are the ones asking to use the devices for access to corporate networks and systems.

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Thu, December 13, 2007
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4) The iPhone Cannot be Locked or Wiped Remotely

Forrester says the single most important feature of mobile device management offerings is remote lock and data wipe functionality, both of which the iPhone lacks. Apple doesn't currently offer any mobile device management software that's anything like the many offerings available for BlackBerrys, Windows Mobile or Symbian devices. Forrester doesn't anticipate any vendors offering such a product before mid-to-late 2008.

5) The iPhone Lacks a Physical Keyboard

The iPhone's touch screen interface and virtual keyboard may be cool, but it is not ideal for power users who e-mail and text message very frequently. The problem with the touch screen is that it doesn't provide tactile feedback, according to Forrester, which makes it difficult to type without paying attention to every single key you hit. The faster you can type, the faster your messages get sent out and the more work you can do in a shorter amount of time. That's not necessarily the case with the iPhone.

6) The iPhone Has Limited Carrier Support Outside the United States, It's Locked Into Carriers

The iPhone is currently only available through exclusive carriers in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, and it's locked to those specific carriers. That means business users who travel internationally can't use iPhones via the carriers they have contracts with in any other countries, even if those carriers offer networks that are technologically compatible, according to Forrester.

7) The iPhone is (Very) Expensive

The iPhone sells for double what the average BlackBerry or Treo costs. At $400, plus voice and data charges, Apple's smartphone is one of the priciest such devices on the market, even after a $200 price cut last fall. Corporations seeking mobile devices often consider price a selling point, especially since many device makers or carriers offer business discounts and service plans. Apple and AT&T, the exclusive U.S. carrier, don't offer any such discounts for business use.

8) The iPhone Is a First-Generation Device

No mobile device is perfect when it's initially released. In order for handset makers to refine their products, they often rely on their masses of users to highlight their weaknesses. Some of the iPhone's weaknesses are, according to Forrester:

  • it can be difficult to activate quickly
  • battery life is weak/short
  • sound quality is less than impressive
  • it's currently only a 2.5 generation device, which means that data transfer speeds aren't as fast as they could be

The next iteration of the iPhone will likely address these issues. In fact, AT&T's CEO recently said a 3G iPhone is due in 2008.

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