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Sunday, March 23, 2008

iPhone 2.0 will be a more viable enterprise choice for unified communications

On March 6, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone software roadmap, released the iPhone Software Development Kit, and introduced the iPhone Enterprise Beta Program.
Apple has announced that iPhone v2.0 will debut in June with a number of new capabilities, making it a more viable enterprise choice for e-mail and unified communications. The upgraded iPhone will support Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync that will make the platform much more palatable to corporate IT departments, since it will permit sophisticated password management, remote wipes of data, VPN capabilities and other enterprise-grade features.

PostPath also announced that it will support iPhone v2.0 in the latest upgrade of its Email Server, v3.1. PostPath is the only e-mail server, other than Exchange, that natively supports Exchange and ActiveSync.

Apple’s recent announcements will clearly create some uncertainty in the mobile messaging market. Apple’s support for third-party application developers to create iPhone-specific applications will likely have two impacts on the mobile messaging market:

* The iPhone’s flexible, “soft” interface will permit developers to provide a variety of new functions that other, less flexible handsets with their fixed buttons will not permit. This will create a new genre of software applications that will permit developers to be more creative in the types of applications that they develop for the iPhone.

* RIM and Microsoft are likely to follow with competitive offerings that attempt to emulate at least some of the functionality of the iPhone, resulting in a new wave of handsets driven by advances in user interface design.

Apple had projected that it would sell 10 million iPhones worldwide by late 2008, giving the company nearly 1% of the worldwide market of 1.15 billion mobile phones sold in 2007, one year after the phone was introduced. As of the end of 2007, Apple’s market share for mobile phones is 0.6%, compared to market leader Nokia at 40.4%. Nearly 4 million iPhones had been sold through 2007, indicating that Apple’s forecast may be on target.

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