iPhone vs. Blackberry: Who will rule in business?

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iPhone vs. Blackberry: Who will rule in business?

With the new 3G iPhone making its way to Aussie shores in just over two weeks, Apple is primed to endear itself to business consumers. But despite the hype and anticipation, business success isn’t guaranteed as the iPhone faces stiff competition from devices with long established roots in the sector.

The iPhone’s biggest rival in the coming months may be RIM’s Blackberry Bold, which essentially sits at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of the customer base and appeal.

“Apple is very strong in the consumer segment with high interest in its products and a very loyal fan base, but is trying to expand into the business and even enterprise market. RIM on the other hand has a strong footing in enterprise and business, with also a loyal user base that depend on their Blackberrys,” said IDC Telecommunications Analyst Mark Novosel.

The Blackberry has not only held somewhat of a niche in the business customer space thus far, but it also provides a higher level of push email security, something which Novosel says the young iPhone lacks.

“It is likely that large enterprises will not consider the iPhone at this stage because of potential security issues, especially since it is a relatively new device, there are bound to be security loopholes that are yet to be discovered and many organisations are not willing to take chances at this stage,” he said.

However, the upcoming release of Apple’s Mobile Me online service, which offers push email for $119 a year, could prove as a viable alternative for SMB’s who can’t afford the Blackberry’s $79 a month pricing plans.

“This feature alone could see consumers and SMB's choose an iPhone over a Blackberry or other mobile device due to the attractive productivity benefits on offer, including group calendars and seamless synchronisation across multiple devices,” Novosel said.

In the whole of the Australian converged device market, IDC predicts Apple to dominate by the end of 2012, carrying 7.38 percent of the market to RIM’s 6.5 percent, though it’s unclear how much of that uptake will be in the business sector.

“From Apple's perspective there is certainly a great deal of potential and they have great hopes, however being a new and largely unexplored platform, there could be potential security issues which could mean that IT departments are cautious and business uptake could be slow,” Novosel said.

Let us know what you think makes the better business phone by taking part in our iTnews online poll.

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