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iPhone may not mix well with corporations

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Tue June 19, 2007

iPhone a corporate no-no?

Though consumers are eagerly awaiting the launch of the iPhone, some corporations are dreading it. Already inquiries from employees are flooding into IT departments, asking whether or not mail services and other infrastructure will be compatible with the device. Many companies are already saying no because the iPhone can't send and receive email through corporate BlackBerry email servers, and workarounds or patches might represent a security compromise. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is planning to combat this situation by announcing plans to integrate with current corporate email set-ups. "According to a person close to Apple, the company is expected to fight for this market, currently dominated by players like BlackBerry's RIM, Palm Inc. and, increasingly, Nokia Corp. and Motorola. If Apple comes up with an acceptable strategy for integrating with business software systems, many companies might change their tunes."

The article goes on to explain that while most company mail servers support IMAP (which the iPhone is readily able to access), many have the functionality turned off to eliminate vulnerabilities.

The Journal says that Apple could pay licensing fees to Microsoft or Research In Motion allowing the iPhone them to act like virtual BlackBerrys or Windows Mobile devices. "That would alleviate many of the security and compatibility concerns voiced by corporate technology departments," the report says.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. davesmall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    Optilinear Rectinitus

    Imagine a world where there are only two modes of transportation available: A Hyundai or a BMW.

    Further imagine that corporations have standardized on Hyundai.

    The word from the all knowing IT Department is that you must have a Hyundai because BMW's are not approved.

    Fat chance that's going to work out.

  1. apple4ever

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2001



    The only reason the iPhone won't work in corporate environments is because of blind, paranoid, ignorant IT departments. IMAP is no less secure than Exchange. Its just like Macs in a corporate environment- they will work, but the IT departments are snobby and refuse to let them.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Perhaps buy a mac..

    ...for the corporation... :)

  1. mdporter

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2001


    Outlook rules all

    The posters here don't realize that Microsoft Exchange is the dominant mail server in medium and big businesses (the ones that can afford the iphone and its service contract). IMAP might be good, but nobody exposes imap ports to the internet. Apple must integrate with OWA directly, or provide some other sort of server, and it must be free, if they want to get their feet in the door.

    The iPhone also needs to support outlook contacts and the outlook calendar if it truly wants to be a player in this market.

  1. themacjedi

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    I'm not buying it.

  1. schwie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    Desktop Redirector

    I'm sure its just a matter of time until some enterprising Mac developers out there create something equivalent to the BlackBerry Desktop Redirector. While not optimal, it would give iPhone users with snobby IT environments closed to IMAP a functional work around.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    this is so dumb.

    If you need a business phone that has that functioniality (Blackberry or Exchange) - why not buy one??

  1. dochsieh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2006


    desktop redirector

    I don't think this will work. Cingular offers a similar XpressMail desktop director that works well with exchange, but requires my workstation to be logged on all the time. My office has a GPO policy that automatically logs out a user after 10 minutes of inactivity. That thwarted my plans. I think that a iphone desktop redircetor would have the same problem

  1. koolkid1976

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003


    re: desktop redirector

    responding to dochsieh's comment. Automatically logs you off? That's just idiotic. What if you have unsaved work open? The sensible approach would be to just lock the workstation.

  1. bryanjbusch

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006


    IMAP vs. MAPI

    Microsoft Exchange is the death of usability.

    I tried to get my old employer to open up the (perfectly secure, as far my research revealed) IMAP4 ports, and I gave up after six months of arguing.

    People are brainwashed into thinking that bundling e-mail with calendar functions, to-do lists, address book, notes and public folders is the way to go. Even though this necessitates that the bloated program will crash all the time.

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