by Tom Kaneshige

Two Faces of the iPhone: Bikini Blast vs. Fortune 100

Jul 23, 20093 mins
Enterprise Applications

Analysts cast the iPhone in opposing lights

Two analyst questions stuck out during Apple’s earnings call earlier this week, in which Apple revealed its big financial quarter ($8.34 billion in revenue). The questions—and Apple’s answers—cast the iPhone in opposing lights, one serious gains in the enterprise and serious silliness in the App Store.

Needham and Co. analyst Charles Wolf commented about the App Store’s “race to the bottom”— that is, cheap and silly apps dragging down the overall quality of the place. Wolf asked: “Are you taking any steps to enable consumers to separate quality apps from the garbage?”

Apple COO Tim Cook responded: “We realize there’s opportunity there for further improvement and are working on that.”

Indeed, it’s a bit sad that business iPhone owners are forced to wade through a landfill of trashy apps to find the ones they really want. In the top paid lifestyle category, for instance, one of the most popular apps has been Bikini Blast—Sexy Girls. Now the top app is Cannabis.

Need more proof? The great legal battle between iPhone apps iFart and Pull My Finger wages on, prompting the Daily Show to make fun of it. That’s what happens when a store builds its reputation on cheap thrills like $1 game apps.

Meanwhile, on the serious side of the equation, the iPhone continues to infiltrate executive ranks, and CIOs are having to take it seriously. David Bailey of Goldman Sachs asked for an update on the progress Apple has made in large enterprise accounts with the iPhone. Apple responded that 20 percent of the Fortune 100 have purchased at least 10,000 iPhones, while corporations and government agencies have bought more than 25,000 units each.

“The phone is particularly doing well with small business and with large organizations that allow people to purchase the phones for individual use,” says Cook, adding, “We think that we are just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the iPhone can do with the business customer.”

Yet this merging of the personal and the business on a single device is still relatively new ground for the CIO, too. Probably, a fewCIOs will soon find Bikini Blast on an executive’s personal iPhone whose AT&T data service plan is being expensed to the company. Mobile management of enterprise devices, and crafting clear policies for employees use, however, is one problem that the CIO, not Apple, has to manage. Good thing. They’re probably busy responding to the Daily Show.

Are you concerned about the silliness of the App Store? Send me an email at Or follow me on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline.