For a long time the Blackberry was the mobile device of choice for the enterprise users. Recently this is changing. Some months ago I had to choose myself between a Blackberry and an iPhone. The elegant, very intuitive and smooth interface of the iPhone occurs to attract more and more business users.To be honest I decided to choose the iPhone mainly based on cost. I could get the iPhone almost for free together with my new mobile subscription. Besides for the Blackberry I was supposed to subscribe to the Blackberry network as well.
Positively surprised by the iPhone
I did not know what to expect, but till today my iPhone never let me down and it gave me a lot of fun, apart from the battery issue, but you can solve that by reading this blog post with a lot of useful links. It supports me doing my job and it is very useful when I am traveling. Email, calendar, Twitter, Internet, navigation and blogging, just some examples of functionality I use on my iPhone. I am not going to claim that you can not do these things on the Blackberry, but it’s fact of life that more and more applications become accessible by the iPhone as well. Several application providers even tend to focus more on the iPhone than on the Blackberry.
Users love the iPhone
Users tend to prefer the iPhone and for sure this is partly because it just looks great. It is really a Mac designed gadget. Nearly half of BlackBerry and other smart phone users would choose the iPhone for their next purchase, according to a report released by the end of June 2009. A global survey, conducted by US analysis firm Crowd Science, showed four out of 10 smart phone users would switch to the iPhone whereas only 14 per cent of non-BlackBerry smart phone users would move to BlackBerry.
For a huge part this has to do with the great look and feel, but not only. It occurs that most iPhone users use it for both business and private purposes. By doing this it perfectly serves the current trend of the shifting division in between private and business life.
IT departments prefer the Blackberry
Contrary to the users, IT departments prefer the security of the Blackberry and for some time they were absolutely right. The security management was not well organized on the iPhone. But lately this has changed. Just upgrade all the iPhones to OS 3.0 and you have a full feature set of security tools available. The article: “Can you manage an iPhone like a BlackBerry?“ describes this in a nice way. The iPhone is on the good way.
Application providers increasingly support the iPhone
The future success for the business usage of the iPhone highly depends on the amount of business applications that will be accessible through the iPhone. A big advantage of the iPhone is that it is rather easy to develop nice looking, very intuitive interfaces for all kinds of applications. The iPhone app store already offers numerous business and personal efficiency applications. Recently also several professional business applications decided to chose the iPhone as the prefered mobile interface for their applications. For example Alfresco, the open source alternative for Enterprice Content Management, has an integration environment for the iPhone available. Recently also Autonomy, one of the leading document management systems for lawyers, started offering iPhone access.
iPhone offers both business and fun
In my opinion the main differentiator for the iPhone is the very fact that it combines business and fun in one. Our lives are no longer strictly separated and while traveling it is great to have some fun, meanwhile being productive with business things. Answering your email while listening to some great music is combining these two in a perfect way. That makes the iPhone successful combined with more and more business support from solution providers.