A Battle for Businesses: iPhone vs. BlackBerry

By TechZone360 Special Guest
Cindy Waxer
September 13, 2010

American financial services behemoth J.P. Morgan is reportedly testing the Apple iPhone as a possible replacement for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry device. According to a Bloomberg Business week news item, J.P. Morgan is trying out the wildly popular device based on Google Inc.’s Android software.

Originally developed as a consumer product, the iPhone is fast finding its way into the hands of time-strapped CEOs and harried employees. UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, is also considering allowing its staff to use iPhones for company messaging. And mutual funds provider Vanguard Group Inc. is also entering the fray by testing the iPhone with a handful of its employees.

Cost savings and employee preference number among the reasons enterprises are finally giving serious consideration to supporting the iPhone. In turn, Apple has embraced the opportunity to penetrate the corporate market by introducing a number of enterprise-centric apps. Salesforce Mobile, Oracle CRM On-Demand, Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Mobile FilesPro – they are only a few apps that address corporate needs such as CRM, virtual meetings and expense management. In fact, Apple reported in July that more than 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies are deploying or testing the iPhone.

Winning over the corporate world, however, requires allaying businesses of their security fears. BlackBerry boasts an encrypted military-grade security platform, with astonishing market share at the FBI, CIA, White House, Congress, Department of Defense, and major investment banks. In contrast, iPhone has been widely criticized for security vulnerabilities.

Yet promising to turn the page on security concerns is the release of the iPhone4 and its deeper enterprise integration. In fact, according to a new survey, American employees are paying close attention to the new iPhone4 and iOS4, citing new features such as multitasking. Mobile software company Sybase and polling company Zogby International surveyed 2,100 employees across the U.S., of which 11.6 percent were iPhone users, 73.1 percent were classed as ‘mobile phone users,’ and the remaining 15.2 percent had no mobile device.

Over half the iPhone owners will use their device for work more often due to the new enterprise features in iOS 4. Astonishingly, over a third of respondents who don’t currently own an iPhone and whose employers don’t provide them with a mobile phone will consider purchasing Apple’s handset for business now that iOS 4 and iPhone 4 are out. In addition, more than half of the respondents whose employers provide them with a mobile device plan to ask for a company upgrade to an iPhone.

The war is not over but the iPhone’s battle for enterprise dollars is certainly heating up.

TechZone360 publishes expert commentary on various telecommunications, IT, call center, CRM and other technology-related topics. Are you an expert in one of these fields, and interested in having your perspective published on a site that gets several million unique visitors each month? Get in touch.

Edited by Erin Harrison
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