iPhone 3.0 boosts business appeal, but some say more is needed

Though Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 3.0 software doesn't meet all the needs of businesses, some users said it should make the mobile device somewhat more attractive to IT managers when it ships this summer.

For example, Jorge Mata, CIO for the Los Angeles Community College District, said the ability to tether Windows laptops to the Apple device could immediately save his operation money. If carrier AT&T Inc. keeps tethering costs low, the district's 200 iPhones could function as modems, obviating the need for the $60-per-month air cards now in user laptops.

And Stuart Maxwell, an IT manager at Herrera Environmental Consultants Inc., said he hopes engineers at the company can take advantage of iPhone 3.0's ability to automatically tag photos with a location.

Some analysts noted that new push, cut-and-paste, and calendar sync capabilities are also attractive to IT managers. However, others said the updated software still lacks key features.

Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Inc., pointed out that the updated software lacks the ability to run multiple applications at once, a key requirement for corporate users. "It desperately needed background processing," he said. "You can't do security effectively without it."

Dulaney noted that security programs must run independently of the applications they're auditing in order to be effective. "[Apple has] been enormously pressured by enterprise buyers to put this in," he said, "and I thought they'd respond."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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