What the iPhone 5S and 5C and iOS7 Offer the Enterprise
Much of what Apple offers enterprise workers and their IT departments in the new iPhone 5S and 5C comes by virtue of its new iOS 7, first announced in June.
Wed, September 11, 2013
Computerworld — Much of what Apple offers enterprise workers and their IT departments in the new iPhone 5S and 5C comes by virtue of its new iOS 7, first announced in June.
The low price of the iPhone 5C would make it attractive to younger employees of large companies with BYOD policies.
According to analysts, the biggest benefits of iOS 7's enterprise features will come through connections to mobile device management software deployed by large-company IT shops.
Still, Apple has unveiled new hardware that could benefit -- or pose new challenges -- to businesses. For example, a cheaper, more colorful iPhone 5C, starting at $99, could be attractive to younger workers who would buy the phone on their own and expect to have the workplace Wi-Fi at their disposal.
There are also novel hardware features, including a fingerprint sensor, called Touch ID, in the iPhone 5S that could help all kinds of business users simplify the phone unlock process, even those workers providing their own smartphone for work under a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scenario.
The following are different views on how the new iPhone models and iOS 7 could affect enterprises.
Apple's Touch ID in the iPhone 5S
If Touch ID works as promised in the iPhone 5S, a user would simply touch the home button to initiate the technology and avoid the need to tap in a password.
"The fingerprint reader means that the user doesn't have to constantly type in passcodes, so I wouldn't belittle it" as a security feature, said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney.
Apple said that only half of its iPhone users rely on a password to unlock a phone, so a lot more authentication security could be derived from having Touch ID capabilities. A lost or stolen phone locked with the Touch ID would have a better chance at protecting the data inside.
However, fingerprint sensors are already widespread in laptops and are not often used, said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. "The fingerprint sensor could be useful for two-factor authentication, but laptops have had them for years and they are not widely being used," Gold said. "It's hard to make sure fingerprint sensors are working properly. So, I see the fingerprint sensor as more of a consumer than an enterprise feature."