iPhone in the Enterprise; is it Ready?

Now that the iPhone supports Microsoft Exchange Push/Pull and is 3G network capable, the notion that road warriors should make the switch is becoming more and more popular.  But is it practical?  I love my iPhone 3G but here are some reasons why it might not be ready for the enterprise just yet.

 

  1. Email:
    • The iPhone will only download the entire email message if you choose to view it and have a cell signal or attached via Wi-Fi.  This means that if you don’t have a signal, you will not be able to read an email that hasn’t been previously read.  On my old Treo 750 running Windows Mobile 6, I had an option to choose to download some or the entire email when it gets pushed to my phone; giving me the ability to view mail offline. I looked all over the iPhone and did not see that option.
    • You cannot search your emails or even apply a filter.  Recently, I had to find an email dating back over a year and was forced to browse through hundreds of emails.  This time consuming endeavor wouldn’t have been necessary if I would of had search or the ability to filter by sender, size, keyword, etc…
  2. Contacts:
    • Mass contact deletion is not available.  I know there are other ways to do it through your laptop but some on the road won’t have a laptop to perform these workarounds.
  3. GPS:
    • No true turn by turn navigation, yet?
    • Map download:  Why is this not an option?  The GPS is great but I get increasingly frustrated with waiting for Google Maps to download and the inability to use the GPS, if I’m out of cell range, because the map won’t download.  It would be nice to have the ability to load a US map onto the iPhone so I could utilize the GPS when cell coverage is lacking.
  4. Battery
    • Battery life could be better.  I hear there has been improvement with the 2.1 update but I can’t see a noticeable difference. 
    • Inability to change the battery yourself.  It’s not realistic to expect a road warrior to give up their phone for a couple of days to get the battery replaced.
  5. Copy and Paste
    • Still waiting for it!

Would I recommend the iPhone for the enterprise?  Only if you can live with the shortcomings mentioned above.  Right now,  much of the iPhone’s functionality depends on wether it has a signal or not.  To reach it’s full potential, more “out of cell range” functionality is needed.

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