Apple’s iPhone gaining ground as business tool

“Mike de la Cruz, a senior vice president with German software giant SAP AG, shows off the latest weapon of the corporate road warrior — his iPhone,” Jim Finkle and Scott Hillis report for Reuters.

“A hit with consumers because it combines a phone, music player and Web browser, analysts say Apple Inc’s iPhone is gaining ground as a business tool as well, and could one day rival Research in Motion Ltd’s popular Blackberry line,” Finkle and Hillis report.

“Indeed, it is popular enough that software makers such as SAP, Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and scores of smaller developers are letting sales and finance teams work away from the office on their iPhones,” Finkle and Hillis report.

“On Monday, SAP broke with precedent by saying it would introduce a version of its upcoming customer relationship management software for the iPhone before launching versions for mobile devices from RIM and Palm Inc.,” Finkle and Hillis report. “The reason? SAP’s own salespeople were clamoring for it, saying the iPhone was easier to use, according to Bob Stutz, SAP senior vice president in charge of developing customer relationship management software.”

Finkle and Hillis report, “Apple says the device is great for business. ‘We’ve said many times that we’re providing a solution in iPhone that many businesses love,’ Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in October. ‘Clearly, there are some businesses buying them and very much enjoying them.'”

Full article here.

The chickens are a-roostin’ today:

Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry… The big competitors in the mobile-phone industry such as Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc. won’t be whispering nervously into their clamshells over a new threat to their business.Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007

That is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine.Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, January 17, 2007

Businesses have little, if any interest in the iPhone and Apple isn’t marketing it to the business sector anyway. The iPhone is not positioned at all for the IT world. It’s a very personal device. Most corporations are probably not going to support the iPhone on their networks.Randy Giusto, IDC’s Group Vice President and General Manager of Mobility, Computing, and Consumer Markets, June 20, 2007

It doesn’t have any features that would make it successful as a business tool. The other question, is it even going to be successful as a consumer device?Tony Rizzo, The 451 Group’s Research Director, Mobility, June 20, 2007

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