Ken Dulaney, Gartner VP distinguished analyst and general mobile device guru, told the crowd at the Gartner Mobile & Wireless Summit today that he still canâ€™t recommend businesses adopt the iPhone â€” even with an SDK. Dulaney said that he recently wrote Apple a letter in which he outlined several things Apple would need to do with the iPhone before Gartner could change its mind about it. The directives included:
– Permit the device to be wiped remotely if lost or stolen
– Require strong passwords
– Stop using iTunes for syncing with a computer
– Implement full over-the-air sync for calendar and PIM
On the same day Dulaney said this in Chicago, Phil Schiller of Apple was holding a news conference in Santa Clara granting some of these wishes, and many more:
- Microsoft Exchange support with built-in ActiveSync.
- Push email
- Push calendar
- Push contacts
- Global address lists
- Additional VPN types, including Cisco IPsec VPN
- Two-factor authentication, certificates and identities
- Enterprise-class Wi-Fi, with WPA2/802.1x
- Tools to enforce security policies
- Tools to help configure thousands of iPhones and set them up automatically
- Remote device wiping
At the news conference Apple wheeled out several corporate endorsers: Genentech, Stanford University, Nike and Disney.
At first blush, the new enterprise-oriented capabilities of the iPhone appear to be an IT manager’s dream come true (though it will be a while before the dream is a reality.) Even this contrarian post concedes that it will make the iPhone more competitive with the Blackberry, while faulting Apple for not having a comprehensive enterprise strategy.
Apple is clearly serious about the enterprise smartphone market, and this strategy is sound. The business market supports price points that easily accommodate the iPhone, and this strategy spills over to the business PC market in two ways: today by acting as a door-opener for Mac sales, tomorrow by evolving the iPhone into a PC replacement for many users.