iPhone 5 and CIOs: What Apple's New Phone Brings to the Enterprise
The iPhone 5's increased speed, screen size and durability will all be assets to business users, according to CIOs and tech analysts.
Wed, September 12, 2012
CIO — Throngs of consumers cheered Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 5 today, tech analysts predict the iPhone 5 will be the hottest selling gadget in history, and J.P. Morgan chief economist Michael Feroli said the iPhone 5 could boost the entire U.S economy in a measurable way.
But will the iPhone 5 matter with CIOs?
When the iPhone 5 finally lands on store shelves September 21, CIOs can expect calls from employees telling them their corporate-owned iPhones suddenly slipped from their hands and smashed to pieces on the concrete. They'll need another iPhone, perhaps the newly available iPhone 5?
"Let's just say there was a coincidence on major phones shipping and either damaged or lost equipment," VMware CIO Mark Egan told me earlier this year. (VMware recently went all-in with a bring-your-own-device mandate that supports iPhones.)
Truth is, iPhones and iPads have driven deeply into the enterprise with each new version. For instance, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and found that one in five who bought the third-generation iPad released earlier this year planned to use the device for business.
There's no question the iPhone 5 will follow this lead and pour into the enterprise.
"The iPhone 5 is going to trigger another wave of devices," says SAP AG CIO Oliver Bussmann, whose company has 13,000 iPhones for employees. "Last year, in the first months after the iPhone 4S launch, we had at least 1,600 [new] devices. We expect similar demand with the iPhone 5 in the months of October and November."
Slideshow: 15 Best iPhone Apps for Busy CEOs
So what, exactly, does the iPhone 5 bring to the enterprise table?
For starters, the iPhone 5's 4-inch screen and faster processor won't be used just for better gaming and video watching—executives will be able to more easily and quickly consume corporate data. Let's face it, business analytics can be tough to view on a tiny screen. Now it's up to business iOS apps developers to tune their apps to take advantage of the bigger screen.
"More real estate to look at a company dashboard, a customer profile, all those things, will be helpful," says Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.
The iPhone 5 boasts LTE support and better Wi-Fi. While faster data speed is good for everyone, it plays an important role in some business situations, such as streaming media and displaying chunks of business data. For CIOs with media-rich mobile apps, iPhone LTE support has been a long time coming.