The iPhone Starts Coming to Big Businesses Everywhere

Banking giants JPMorgan and UBS are both testing out the iPhone for corporate email. According to Bloomber, while neither are expected to purchase huge quantities of iPhones to hand out to employees, they are planning on letting private iPhones start to access their email networks. Its not just these two companies either, others banks and more than 80% of Fortune 100 companies are testing out the iPhone for business use. As companies start to cut costs by not issuing smartphones to employees, they are realizing that iPhones are what their employees prefer to use when on and off the clock.

This means is that while both the iPhone and Android OS smartphones are being widely adopted by consumers, companies seem to be more interested in supporting the iPhone. Apple is putting in a lot of work to make sure that the iPhone is ready for the corporate prime time and secure enough for sensitive business information. This has always been the realm of Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry smartphones. Will Apple be able to finesse its past RIM, stall Microsoft’s Windows 7 Mobile before it even gets off the ground, and strong arm Android to take the corporate crown?

Apple has never seen its other products make huge inroads into corporate use, though its Macintosh computers have been popular for desktop publishing, music production, and graphics work for nearly forever. Does Apple have what it takes to start challenging RIM on security features and Microsoft on email? Why not? It’s not like Apple can’t just hire a bunch of skilled programmers with all of the money it has lying around. Its Mac OS X certainly is a secure platform in its own right and certainly iOS shares some of that same security.

The iPad has even started popping up in boardrooms. As video conferencing and calling becomes the next big thing that every business needs, expect front facing camera packing smartphones and tablets with video calling features to become the norm. While we wait and see if the BlackBerry BlackPad or the Storm 3 will have video calling, the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4 have already launched. Even some Android smartphones have front facing cameras now.

Building a brand name that corporations respect, like RIM has, is certainly a big deal. But when something a little slicker, faster and sexier comes out, don’t expect anyone to be able to keep competing without doing some upgrading of their own. Let me know if the iPhone has what it takes for businesses in the comments section.

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