iPhone Business Model

Fortune has covered Forrester Research's latest report "Making iPhone Work In The Enterprise: Early Lessons Learned". Whiplash-much? After all, it does come on the heels of previous reports including "The iPhone Is Not Meant For Enterprises", "The Top 10 Reasons Why We Recommend That IT Not Support It", and "Harold and Kumar Don't Want an iPhone at White Castle". Okay, we made that last one up. Barely.

This time the people who were crafting link-bait before there were any links to bait have seemingly decided the best bang for their buck is to pull a 180 and, instead of trouncing the iPhone in enterprise, actually support it. Sure, Apple's increasing development of the OS, including iPhone 2.x and the upcoming iPhone 3.0 could have something to do with it, but even in IT it's generally more about the artist than the tools. So to speak.

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What does Forrester claim makes the iPhone so suddenly worthy?

  • Employees like them. “In this era of Technology Populism, where consumer IT is often better than enterprise IT, it sometimes just makes sense to give employees the freedom to choose the tools they want.”
  • They make mobile collaboration easier. “As anybody with experience on both iPhones and BlackBerry will tell you, the Internet feels natural on an iPhone and a like a chore on a BlackBerry.”
  • iPhone users need less hand-holding. “All three firms have set up wikis so that employees can support each other. ‘Our early adopters sometimes teach things we’d rather our iPhone users not know, but overall they provide better support than we can,’ said one person we interviewed.”
  • They can be cheaper in the long run. “In at least one case, an iPhone adopter found that the data plans for previous mobile devices were more expensive than the consumer plans AT&T is offering for iPhones. This company was able to reset its baseline plan pricing 30% lower for all phones because it supported iPhone.”

For an actual iPhone endorsement, some remaining corporate gotchas, and 3.0 redemptioms, check out Fortune's coverage or throw $749 at Forrester (if you didn't just blow that cash on an unlocked iPhone...)

[Thanks to The Reptile for the tip!]