iPhone – for common man or business enterprises ?

It might be rather old to write on this, but it still keeps coming up whenever there is a discussion on iPhone that Apple did not manage to break into the enterprise market with its iPhone. And I keep correcting people who tell that to me saying Apple never meant to introduce it to the enterprise market back in July 2007.

It has been quite long since the Palm Treos and the Blackberrys came into existence and they have failed to break into the hands of a common man. The fact is that they always concentrated on the enterprise market, with occasional overspills into the commercial. Along came iPhone in mid-2007 and revolutionized the whole concept of smartphones, with its breathtaking widgets and multitouch. By the end of 2007, the 8GB iphone rose upto number 3 in the top selling smartphones of the year, with just MotorolaQ and Blackberry Pearl above it.

With no support for Microsoft ActiveSync and Cisco VPN in iPhone1.0, my take was that, they never had an intention to enter the enterprise user market right at the beginning. A year later, with over 4 million units sold mainly to the common man, people have grown so much accustomed to it that, they have started thinking about the possibilities that may open by taking it to the enterprise. iPhone2.0 that was announced in March 2007, was absolutely a big leap in that direction, where Apple managed to secure license for the Microsoft ActiveSync, Cisco IPSec VPN and WPA2 Enterprise support with 802.1X.

But by doing so, they did not decide on a complete shift in focus. The announcement of SDK alongside, provided common users with umpteen possibilities to build their own applications that run on the phone.

If you look at how Personal Computers emerged back in 1980s, it followed the same methodology. By the term “Personal”, it was meant for the common man, and with its widespread popularity, entering an enterprise market was just a matter of time. What PC and Microsoft (I completely despise saying this, but still…..:D ) did to personal computing, iPhone and Apple will do to Mobile Computing…..

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