Is the iPhone mighty for smaller companies? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
8/6/2007
09:43 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
Commentary
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Is the iPhone mighty for smaller companies?

Is the iPhone a legitimate business tool, or just the cool toy of the moment: the grown-up equivalent of Tickle-me-Elmo? I've played around with one a bit, and I'm still not sure. It's not as good at handling email as the pathetically uncool Blackberry 8700 that bMighty.com has deigned to equip me with. And making a phone call is wayyyy too complicated. But the thing is undeniably beautiful, and it's by far the best portable Web experience I've seen, at least when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Is the iPhone a legitimate business tool, or just the cool toy of the moment: the grown-up equivalent of Tickle-me-Elmo?

I've played around with one a bit, and I'm still not sure. It's not as good at handling email as the pathetically uncool Blackberry 8700 that bMighty.com has deigned to equip me with. And making a phone call is wayyyy too complicated.

But the thing is undeniably beautiful, and it's by far the best portable Web experience I've seen, at least when connected to a Wi-Fi network. And that has real business applications.

So, despite its consumer roots, I think the iPhone has a real place in small businesses.As Nick Wingfield at the Wall Street Journal points out, Web-based software vendors like NetSuite and Salesforce.com "are marketing their applications to iPhone users and, in some cases, modifying software so it works more smoothly on Apple's device."

And while all that consumer coolness may put off corporate users, Wingfield suggeststhat the iPhone "probably has a better shot with small businesses, where decisions about technology are more frequently based on an employee's preferences."

After all, isn't that one of the points of working at smaller companies? To be able to avoid all the stupid rules and regulations that hobble big companies, and just do the right thing?

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