The release of the new iPhone sees a new era for mobile computing. Throw away your notebooks, netbooks, BlackBerries and Androids and get yourself an iPhone 3GS when they come out later this month.
To be fair, the current model is pretty damn good. The iPhone 3G running on the iPhone 2.2.1 Operating System has a camera, GPS, push email, calendar and contact synchronisation, up to 16gb of data, full web browsing and the ability to make phone calls and send texts – bit of an upgrade from your Nokia 3310! All of this beautifully supported by some amazing third-party applications that are available anywhere in the world (providing you have an account with Apple and a 3G mobile signal).
Because Apple treat its mobile devices like little computers, existing iPhone owners are guaranteed the advantage of the new iPhone 3.0 Operating System, even if they have an old handset. This means you can now copy and paste and unleash a lot of enterprise features that Apple has been secretly perfecting, such as secure access to your files at the office without the need to set up VPN connections and the ability to remotely wipe lost phones. This will give companies peace of mind that the data stored on their mobile devices is less at risk from accidental loss or dissemination into the public.
Once you get the new handset, you will now be able to do all of this and more. It will be the ultimate business phone on the market. With the addition of a compass, you will be able to have turn-by-turn GPS navigation in your car: TomTom are even releasing an iPhone dock for your motor!
So, why is the iPhone the ultimate phone for your business”
Simply: it allows people to do what they want to do while being anywhere in the world. If there isn’t an app for it, there will be. As an IT manager, I’m cautious about early adoption of technology. But the iPhone, which is now in its third generation, will be stable and secure enough to support the mobile needs of most business.
Firstly, it allows your IT staff to enforce policies that can ensure that the iPhone locks after one minute of inactivity, set pin number strength rules and, with three failures to enter the pin correctly, you can also wipe all the data from the business phone. Which is no problem: it will still be nicely synchronised to the server back at your company’s HQ or to your mobile account.
With the iPhone’s excellent web-browsing functionality and VPN capabilities, most companies that currently use web-based software will find that the iPhone will allow staff to surf from any location on their business phone without the need for an expensive, bulky laptop. The iPhone in its current state is a good corporate tool. But the next update from Apple will turn your little iPhone into your office away from the office.
All of this comes without the need to install special applications on your servers – like business phones such as the BlackBerry – and without the continual restarts that Windows mobile devices are prone to. I have tried them all – none get me as excited as the iPhone.
And here’s a word of warning for all you technophobes: any companies that are not developing iPhone-suitable websites and applications will be left behind. Any companies that will not look at the cost benefits of this new technology and the data security advantages will be overtaken by those that do.
Don’t make me say, "I told you so."