A long-term rexblog test: Is the iPhone an “enterprise” product?

I really don’t have a dog in this hunt. To be honest, I don’t care if the iPhone is or is not a potential “enterprise” product. I know that I’ve seen video of executives at other companies scoffing at the notion — the typical “whistling by the graveyard response” when you don’t know what a market will think of a new product. And I know that Apple’s near-perfect success in consumer marketing is equaled by its near-perfect failure in marketing to the enterprise. (Please, no arrows from Apple cultists: my 25-person firm is 95% Mac.)

However, this article in InfoWorld about AT&T’s plans to aim the iPhone at enterprises is either a brilliant smokescreen designed to exploit the paranoia of the traditional players in the mobile phone market, or, well, simply brilliant. Again, I don’t care. I know my small business will probably own a couple of them before the year is out, but that’s not going to be because of any “enterprise” solution they may offer. It’s because that businesses that are comprised of people who run their lives and their businesses on their mobile phone/email/web device, don’t want two hunks of plastic in their pocket. If an “enterprise” is comprised of people, then it stands to reason that if enough of those people decide to over-rule the pundits and analysts about what feature-set is critical on an “enterprise” phone, then, who knows? Again, I don’t care. However, I thought it would be interesting to place the following quote on the record and check back on it one year after the iPhone is released:

“The idea of marketing the iPhone as an enterprise product baffles some analysts. If AT&T announces that it will be marketing the phone to enterprise customers, “we’d be against it,” said Ken Dulaney, an analyst with Gartner, who said he hasn’t heard of such a plan from the operator. “We’d immediately tell our customers that’d be a very serious mistake.”

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  • Great idea to note this now and keep an eye out, Rex. I’m curious to see exactly how the iPhone captures market share, too. I am on my second Treo and likely to stay with Palm or whatever entity it becomes, but I’d never say never about the iPhone if Palm can’t keep up.