Update: Jan. 21, 2008 – AT&T’s new iPhone Business Plans have arrived.
AT&T is now offering the iPhone to business customers. Plans break down as follows:
v 2 year commitment, voice service, and data plan required
v $45 per month for unlimited data, visual voicemail, and 200 SMSes; $55 ups the SMS limit to 1,500; $65 for unlimited everything
v An extra $25 per month nabs a 20MB monthly data plan good for 29 countries, $60 per month ups the limit to 50MB
Activate by 31 March and qualified accounts will receive a service credit of $25 per month good through 31 December, 2008 (great incentive!)
Rumor Alert – January 18, 2008: … Boy Genius says the iPhone going corporate on January 21st
See also a related theStreet.com video: iPhone compatible with business applications
iPhone Ready for Business?
“IPhone’s not for business!” … Think again. According to InformationWeek, next week IBM will announce a version of its Lotus Notes email software designed specifically for the iPhone. We also have several major players in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space committed to developing for iPhone – Salesforce.com and more recently SAP.
Now what’s the next step for iPhone to gain respect in the corporate marketplace? It pains me to say this, but I’d like to see Apple license Microsoft Exchange ActiveSynch for iPhone. There are workarounds to get push mail delivered to iPhone, but good luck getting IT move. If you’re fortunate and the CEO owns an iPhone, IT might enable the IMAP feature on the Corp Exchange Server thereby allowing for workaround push e-mail to iPhone. Most businesses are not so lucky. IT managers loath change and are paranoid about security. Hence, we may have to deal with the corp standard by licensing ActiveSynch for iPhone. This move would immediately open the door to hundreds of thousands corporate iPhone sales.
The big question is whether we will have to wait for a next gen iPhone before Apple makes a serious push into the corporate market. Many IT groups will insist on strong password protection and the ability to remotely wipe the phone in the event an employee is terminated. These security requirements might come with a new iPhone software update and/or be part of the next gen iPhone feature set (expected summer of 2008).
From “Fake Steve” blog on licensing MS ActiveSynch (June 2007)
Fair enough, so we’re doing a deal with Microsoft
We were going to keep it quiet for a while more but since the MicroTards decided to leak it to Mary Jo Creepy, their official mouthpiece, I guess we might as well come clean. Okay. We need to license Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol so we can make the iPhone work with Exchange servers. I personally think Exchange blows, but it’s a big standard in corporations and Phil Schiller is peeing his pants with fear saying we can’t afford to get pegged as non-corporate-friendly on the iPhone. So whatever. We license some software from Microsoft. God I just gagged when I wrote that. No doubt we’ll not only have to license the software from them but then we’ll have to fix it for them so it will work with the Jesus machine. And we’ll get blamed every time something goes wrong even though it’s Microsoft’s fault. Whatever. It’s the price we pay.