iPhone: Why Apple Ignored Business Users Just Long Enough
Plenty of skeptics think Apple has foolishly ignored iPhone opportunities in the enterprise for nearly a year. The VAR Guy begs to differ. He thinks this was all part of a wise, calculated Apple strategy. And besides, Apple will finally give the iPhone some enterprise attention on March 6. Here's the scoop.
Plenty of skeptics think Apple has foolishly ignored iPhone opportunities in the enterprise for nearly a year. The VAR Guy begs to differ. He thinks this was all part of a wise, calculated Apple strategy. And besides, Apple will finally give the iPhone some enterprise attention on March 6. Here’s the scoop.
At some point, The VAR Guy believes, Apple knew the iPhone would be a consumer hit that spilled over into the corporate market — without any help or marketing dollars from Apple itself.
By focusing on the consumer market first, Apple was able to leverage supply chains it trusted (i.e, Apple Stores and Apple.com) while transforming consumer iPod fanatics into iPhone fanatics. Apple spent all its dough marketing the iPhone to consumers.
Also, Apple couldn’t afford any distractions in the consumer market, where early negative feedback could have destroyed the device. One misstep, and the iPhone could have been the Apple Newton, Part II.
Steve Jobs knew many of those consumers were also corporate executives, so there was no need to waste development time and marketing dollars trying to serve two markets — consumers and corporate users — at the same time, our resident blogger believes.
The only thing that surprised Apple, in The VAR Guy’s opinion, was how quickly corporate users started demanding iPhone support. Suddenly, tech companies like Avaya and IBM started working on iPhone support. Software developers also are integrating the iPhone with Asterisk, the open source IP PBX platform that’s gaining global popularity. And The VAR Guy has been begging for a clear relationship between Cisco’s Unified Communications team and Apple’s iPhone team.
Apple Answers the Call on March 6
Finally, we will begin to get some enterprise iPhone answers on March 6. That’s when Apple will announce its iPhone software roadmap, which has a direct route to the enterprise. We’ll likely hear plenty about the iPhone’s new software development kit. And let’s hope we hear about interoperability with Microsoft Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, Cisco Unified Networks, etc.
The announcement’s timing is critical. Many early iPhone adopters , including The VAR Guy, still love the device but they’re beginning to envy some of the corporate features found on RIM BlackBerry devices. And the buzz around Google Android, an open software platform for mobile devices, continues to grow. Here’s a first look at Android to keep you busy until Apple’s March 6 iPhone press conference.