AT&T exec: 4 out of 10 of our iPhone sales are to business

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“AT&T’s Ron Spears, CEO of the telecom company’s Business Solutions unit, said Apple’s iPhone has plenty of traction in the enterprise and in some cases is replacing a laptop purchase,” Larry Dignan reports for ZDNet. “Here’s what Spears had to say when asked about the iPhone’s role in the enterprise: ‘Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Which is why that widely-misreported NPD survey was meaningless and the conclusions drawn by the clueless were wrong, as we told you – in our headline, even – on the day of its release: NPD survey: Excluding business sales, RIM has 36%, Android 28%, iPhone 21% in U.S. smartphone share – May 10, 2010

Dignan continues, “Spears added that the iPhone is basically a computing device to enterprises and some of them are forgoing laptop purchases if an employee can get buy with Apple’s flagship phone. ‘If they’ve got a field service force that needs one or two applications on a daily basis; do they need to go out and spend $1,000 or $1,200 for a laptop and then worry about sort of the lifecycle costs of keeping up with the laptop?’ asked Spears. A similar case is likely to be made for the iPad.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPhone is… uh, what was that, Steve?

[iPhone] doesn’t appeal to business because it doesn’t have a keyboard. – Steve Ballmer, January 2007

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughs at Apple iPhone from Get a Mac on Vimeo.


  1. I know the iPhone 4GS will be faster, but I cannot think how Apple could improve it over the 3GS since the 3GS runs all the apps I need, has more drive space than I need and will run iPhone OS 4.

    But iPhone sales will be down for those who can wait – like my son…

  2. @ ChrissyOne

    I cannot think of anything more a pipe dream than video calls on an iPhone or iPad. We will all try it once to prove it can be done then forget it. Kids today barely even call since they all just text. I use Skype to call family back home but that is once per month or less.

    A bluetooth or WiFi camera connection made more sense so you can change your camera, take great photos then preview them on the iPhone/iPad – that would be useful. Or even an iSight camera on a dock-connector cable so it could be used with schools in science or stop-animation or clip on the top of the iPad to point at your face while the iPad is at another angle.

  3. Good points Holy Mackerel. I currently use a Sony Ericsson phone with the ability to make video calls and have used the feature only once… I certainly secont the plea for an external bluetooth camera for the same reasons.

  4. I think Apple will add built-in support for printing soon in iPhone/iPad OS. They have to–it is the only BIG remaining piece for business users. They would absolutely KILL the marketplace.

  5. I, too, have never understood the calls for a front-facing camera on the iPhone. I’m a long-time Mac user, who has long had the capability (through iChat) to video-chat with friends & family, most of whom have Macs as well. I have actually used that feature no more than a half-dozen times in the past half-dozen years. I know a couple of people who use it more often — grandparents & grandchildren, that sort of thing — but even there it’s a once-a-month sort of thing, not daily or several times daily.

    I suspect the addition of a front-facing camera to the iPhone 4G means that Apple is throwing a bone to the feature-counters. Shouldn’t surprise me, given that just about every Mac has a camera built-in, but I still can’t help wishing Apple would resist the urge to add useless crap to their hardware.

  6. @HolyMackerel and nipa..

    The difference is Apple rarely releases features without corresponding software or services to go along with it. If they make it compelling, people will use it.

  7. Regarding iPhone sales to businesses, it occurred to me that with iPhone/iPad, Apple now has the ability to penetrate the business world without selling Macs. Gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next few years. Seems like it has to affect generic PC sales — for instance, maybe the boss decides that instead of everyone having a PC on their desk, everyone gets an iPad instead, with a few PC workstations available for anyone’s temporary use. Not that I’m predicting that specific scenario will occur — I just think some kind of shake-up is going to happen over the next few years.

  8. @chew, As I mentioned in my post above, iChat has had easy-to-use video chatting for a long time, and it basically doesn’t get used by the average Mac user. Video chat’s main function is to sell computers.

    My opinion: most people have no desire for video chat. What they do want is pervasive communication without the “overhead”. For instance, texting is more popular than phone calls because you don’t have to give constant attention to the conversation. Video chat is the exact opposite — you have to give it constant attention, otherwise you might as well not bother.

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