iPhone not yet ready for business despite applications launches

Analysts tell firms to hold back on iPhone purchase

The eagerly awaited launch of Apple’s iPhone into the UK has prompted a number of firms to launch business applications targeted mainly at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but a leading research firm is warning that the device is not yet business-ready.


Mobile synchronisation and device management company, Synchronica has launched a new service that it says will enable iPhone users  to receive push email from Microsoft Exchange accounts, without requiring additional software to be installed on the iPhone, or behind the corporate firewall.


Users who log on at www.synchronica.com and register their iPhone with Synchronica’s Mobile Gateway will be able to send and receive e-mail immediately says the company. After a 60-day trial period, users will be migrated to a commercially-supported service. The free trial for UK iPhone users follows a similar trial that has operated in the US since August where more than 10.000 US iPhone users signed up.


At the end of October, Sybase announced that it will provide support for the iPhone within its Information Anywhere suite, claiming to enable IT organisations to provide secure delivery of Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange enterprise email to iPhone users. Sybase believes that its approach to providing enterprise support for the iPhone reduces potential security concerns while still providing a rich user experience utilising the native iPhone mail application.


However despite these moves, analyst firm Gartner is warning that the iPhone currently lacks the capabilities of being business ready, in particular in terms of security. Gartner says that Apple's first-generation iPhone is not configured with typical enterprise security and management practices in mind and that many organisations will find security capabilities insufficient.


Specifically referring to the Sybase announcement, it says that even though Sybase's plan to support wireless e-mail on the iPhone will likely lead to a wave of similar announcements, the iPhone still does not meet enterprise security policy requirements. It added that end users supporting the iPhone may be lowering security standards.


At time of launch, the iPhone was not available with business-specific tariffs.


Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)