Apple pushes iPhone 3G at the enterprise

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Apple pushes iPhone 3G at the enterprise

Apple has been touting the new 3G iPhone as an enterprise communication tool at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The company spent much of yesterday's opening keynote showcasing the iPhone's business credentials and development tools.

Apple said that the upcoming iPhone 2.0 software package will feature several tools aimed primarily at business users.

The update will add support for Microsoft Exchange and Cisco Secure VPN connection security, as well as support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and Apple's iWork office suite.

Apple will charge US$9.99 for the update for iPod Touch owners, but the software will be free for existing iPhone users.

The company hopes that the new features will broaden the iPhone's appeal with a business community that has been reluctant to adopt the device.

Apple claims that the beta release of iPhone 2.0 has already been tested by 35 per cent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list.

Apple has also added a mobile package of its own as an answer to Microsoft's Exchange platform.

Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple, described the web-based MobileMe service as "Exchange for the rest of us ".

The package will include push-based email, calendar and contact information for the iPhone, Mac OS and Windows platforms.

When one device in a user's account is updated with new contact or mail information, the data is pushed to all connected computers and iPhones, allowing one device to synchronise with others and ensure updated and accurate data.

Apple plans to replace its .Mac service with MobileMe, which will have the same $99 annual subscription fee as its predecessor.

Mobile Me and iPhone 2.0 will be available in early July.
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