Many sites and publications, including a report by IT Business Edge's Susan Hall, noted that the dynamic duo of Apple and AT&T both reported positive quarterly results this week.
This is a big deal because it represents official results for the first full quarter of iPhone sales. Apple sold 1.1 million of the phones, while AT&T enjoyed a positive quarter based to a great extent on strong wireless sales. These sales, of course, benefited from the carrier being the only network officially hosting the iPhone.
We don't remember anyone saying that the iPhone would flop and clearly aren't surprised by the positive numbers. The interesting dynamic is what the iPhone's success means for business users going forward. Most immediately, IT folks must watch whether Apple moves to make the iPhone a corporate tool.
Though it is making the most noise, the iPhone isn't the only smartphone game in town. In addition to paying attention to the direction in which Apple takes the device, it is important for IT departments to keep a keen eye on the many smartphones that can do as much for traveling employees as the iPhone -- indeed, more, if Apple doesn't customize the device for workers.
This Detroit Free Press story describes some of the consumer alternatives to the iPhone. The most space is given to the Voyager, which will be available from Verizon Wireless and LG next month. The biggest difference between it and the iPhone, the story says, is that the Voyager features a QWERTY keyboard and faster wireless connectivity -- two elements that could make it more amenable to business. The piece discusses LG Muziq, the Sony Ericsson W580 and the Nokia N95.
This interview in the Telegraph with BlackBerry inventor Mike Lazaridis is quite interesting. He is somewhat skeptical of the iPhone because of the rapidity with which the multimedia features drain the battery. In the bigger picture, however, he suggests that the iPhone and the BlackBerry have convinced the public that cell phones are appropriate for much more than just talking.
He also says that BlackBerry owner Research in Motion (RIM) will continue to go after enterprise users. Lazaridis points out that consumers' increasing sophistication is driving them to the BlackBerry. Others may argue that RIM is courting consumers with the Pearl and the Curve. Regardless of who is wooing whom, the fact is that more consumers than ever are using the devices.
This useful buyer's guide at shopLocal should only be the starting point for research. The writer defines smartphones, describes the basic designs, common operating systems, wireless connectivity options and storage. The piece provides good information on the Palm Treo 750, the Nokia E62, the Samsung Blackjack, the Blackberry 8100 Pearl, the Dash HTC Excalibur, the Cingular 8525, the iPhone and the Motorola Q. Separately, ratings -- but no information -- is provided on Motorola's Razr v3 and Moto Krzr, the LG Chocolate, the Sony Ericsson Z520 and the Nokia N93.
The bottom line is that the iPhone is here to stay -- and that there are many other devices worthy of enterprise consideration, both because of their features and the fact that support may be better if the device is aimed at enterprise use.