bbc.co.uk Navigation

Darren Waters

An iPhone for all reasons?

  • Darren Waters
  • 6 Mar 08, 18:39 GMT

The iPhone - love it or hate it, I think you have to admit that the device is having an impact on the mobile market.

In the global phone market its footprint may be small, but in the smartphone sector, and specifically as a web-browsing device, the gadget is overturning expectations.

Until now the device could not be taken seriously as an enterprise phone - but today Apple has announced support for Microsoft's Exchange. What that means is that push and synced e-mail, contacts and calendar, as well as support for Virtual Private Networks, will be available on the iPhone.

What this really means is that Blackberry now has a serious competitor in the business market.

Of course, it's the price that will ultimately be the deciding factor.
Will the people in your company who do the buying and hiring of IT equipment want to buy phones from Apple?

Apple also unveiled the software development kit for its iPhone today, and had a few surprises.

The first was a version of Will Wright's highly-anticipated game Spore running on the device and then the announcement that Sega were producing games for the platform.

When I was out at the Game Developers' Conference last month many many developers told me they were itching to start producing games for the iPhone.

It looks like the iPhone could give mobile gaming a much needed boost and provide Nokia's N-Gage some real competition.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 08:35 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Raheem Kassam wrote:

A lot of Windows Mobile users and iPhone naysayers will soon be eating their words, it seems. If only we could've somehow had 3G/HSDPA aswell!

All sounds great - shame we have to wait until end of June for any new features or apps - they could at least have given us "one more thing" to play with. Oh well the locate me feature and the kudos of iPhone ownership will have to do for now! Oh by the way iPhone software update 2.0? End of June. Next Gen iPhone methinks... (let the speculation continue!)

What? The N-Gage has been dead for some years now.

  • 4.
  • At 09:37 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

The iPhone is nothing special in my opinion. The only feature which attracts people is the touch interface and the bright attractive icons. My HTC Vox smartphone is a lot more useful than the iPhone ever will be. It's got a slide out QWERTY keyboard, Mobile Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook so I can actually sit in lessons at school and write my notes on it. I can even email office documents direct from my phone to the teacher right infront of their eyes. Not only that it's got Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Hotmail (built in), MMS, and a better 2mp camera. And thats not the end of it! It's got Wifi and Bluetooth-which can be used for syncing emails etc. along with the USB connection which can be used for charging whilst i'm sitting here writing this.

  • 5.
  • At 10:01 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Nicomo wrote:

The iPhone is still in its nappies - it has still got a long way to go. Yes the release of the SDK will help 3rd party developers build the necessary apps required to give the phone its maturity status and a whole host of apps, but the main issue is still the range of the device, bearing in mind that its not a GSM multiband phone - until it heaps on the extra telecomms bands it will unfortunately only be viewed as a useless gadget - handy for snaps or playing back your music. A nice gift from a loving partner :)

Great news about push email - that's my major gripe about the email client. I hope that they push this out to the consumer market too (forgive the pun).

Can't wait to play games. I'm not really a gaming fan, but the iPhone is just so damn likeable that I want to play with it as much as I can.

  • 7.
  • At 11:01 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Ming T wrote:

2.0 comes out in June... Same time as the 3G iPhone?

  • 8.
  • At 11:29 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen wrote:

Apple were initially criticised on the internet for having a lot of style over substance, and it is true that they have delivered the interface before delivering anywhere near its potential application.

However, I think the underlying OS X architecture of the iphone and the ipod touch paves the way for a tremendous amount of development. In a whole raft of directions and that development starts now with the SDK (software development kit).

Its also long been rumoured that the phone hardware will be updated this year, with amongst other things 3G.

I think this direction of development may prove to be very fruitful - the complex functions the 'phone' will now become capable will only be limited by the sophistication of its interface.... and apples master stroke is the interface.

Less style over substance, more style making the substance accessible!

  • 9.
  • At 11:30 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

The iPhone was never a useless gadget , its already redefined the view of how a mobile device should function & in nearly a year no other manufacturer has come remotely close to emulating the user interface.
The SDK will quickly make the iPhone the most powerful & most user friendly mobile device on the Market.
And by the way it is quad band !

  • 10.
  • At 11:32 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • ladybumps wrote:

Nicomo,
The iPhone is a quadband GSM phone.
http://www.apple.com/iphone/questionsandanswers.html

Good article. But what is Nicomo on: "until it heaps on the extra telecomms bands it will unfortunately only be viewed as a useless gadget...". Viewed by whom? People who don't actually own an iPhone obsess about speed. In reality, the speed is not an issue in normal use. The user interface, however, really is an issue for other smartphones, especially the Blackberry.

I have an iPhone and a Blackberry. It's the Blackberry which I now see as a clunky and rather useless bit of kit — annoying to use, slow because the user interface is so dismal. Its only advantage was Exchange. Now that's gone.

Actually, for me, I want to keep work and the rest of my life separate, so I won't be lobbying work any time soon to let me link the iPhone into Exchange for email (though the calendaring appeals...)

  • 12.
  • At 11:51 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • ManB wrote:

@Nimoco

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about, granted the iPhone does not support 3G but it does support every GSM band currently available, 850 through to 1900Mhz

  • 13.
  • At 11:56 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • gerard reilly wrote:

Strange that I phone is being touted as a Business Phone when you cannot take one out on a business contract ?

Thoughts of horse cart / cart horse come to mind

  • 14.
  • At 12:00 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

Nimcomo, it's a quadband GSM phone supporting 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz. Which frequency were you after?

  • 15.
  • At 12:05 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Conor Jeffery wrote:

Nicomo, the iPhone is Quadband... GSM
Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz). See http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html

  • 16.
  • At 12:09 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

its not 3G , my 3G phone mite be looked down upon by the over zealous apple fan boys who hate everything that hasn't been made by apple, but it does more than the iphone.Yes a product like this has definitively caused a stir within the mobile phone industry and thankfully made the big boys sit up and take notice, but here in Europe and Japan where the markets are more developed than the US, its sales impact has been small. Apple need to upgrade to 3G to get people to buy and use, not say hey you can't send MMS,but it plays games

  • 17.
  • At 12:33 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Joe Elliot wrote:

Certainly, Nicomo, the iPhone has a long way to go - but just as iPods have come a long way since the first ground-breaking generation, that doesn't mean by any stretch that iPhones are useless gadgets now. They have phenomenal user satisfaction ratings and have picked up a very healthy and hugely profitable slice of the handset market for Apple. Not least because they offer a fantastic all-round experience. They are multiband enough to work in Europe and the US, which is enough range for me and probably most people. I don't miss 3G or GPS or a high-resolution camera.

To comment on the actual article, iPhone represents portable access to almost all the computing experiences you wish you could bring with you or might need between sessions on your computer. The SDK will help it provide almost every niche function imaginable, including one-button access to the top twenty things you ever wanted your smartphone to do. And more - I've already started habits with my iPhone (regularly watching video podcasts; using maps every day; and so on) that I don't have with my desktop computer use. iPhone isn't the only smartphone, but for now and a while to come it's showing the way.

  • 18.
  • At 01:56 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie Hunt wrote:

My iPhone appears to be very useful to me, and come June we're going to see this usefulness grow exponentially. Enjoy your sneering while you can.

  • 19.
  • At 03:26 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Fred wrote:

Agree with Nicomo. The iPhone just isn't for serious users. I bought one two months ago. Got frustrated typing on it.

Now it's my teenage daughter newest toy.

  • 20.
  • At 04:24 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • John Minard wrote:

The iPhone's operating system and user interface are years ahead of any other mobile device. The UK is not really geared up for 3G yet but a 3G iPhone is not far off by all accounts. The iPhone also has Wi-Fi.

Little more than 1 year on and things are developing nicely for the iPhone in the smartphone sector. This steady but assured start reminds me of the iPod.

Not too long before everyone has one!

  • 21.
  • At 04:29 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen wrote:

Until the Apple iPhone supports 3G, 3.5G and HSDPA no IT professional would seriously recommend a corporate investment in this phone.

  • 22.
  • At 04:33 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • John Minard wrote:

The iPhone's operating system and user interface are years ahead of any other mobile device. The UK is not really geared up for 3G yet but a 3G iPhone is not far off by all accounts. The iPhone also has Wi-Fi.

Little more than 1 year on and things are developing nicely for the iPhone in the smartphone sector. This steady but assured start reminds me of the iPod.

Not too long before everyone has one!

The I-Phones does in deed still have a long way to go before it may be a serious competitor in the Mobile Phone Market. Even though I have always used Mac Computers and was at first rather enthusiastic about the I-Phone, I do stick with my Japanese Phone for now until the I-Phone has matured and lowered its price to an acceptable level! Nokia is still a leader and with new technology being developed like camera translation programs and Moorfe the I-Phone better starts running to keep up or even be able to surpass the Japanese Phones! Oh and the poor GSM of the I-Phone is a rather big factor!

  • 24.
  • At 05:16 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

I just bought an IPhone. Here are two surprises:
1. You cannot send a photo from your IPhone to another phone even by email.
2. I have an IPod for music. I really dislike going to ITunes and being assailed by offers from Apple for other products.
3. At ITunes, there is an astonishly primitive program for uploading photos from your computer. After uploading a few hundred, I decided to upload a few more. The original pics were deleted. It is not possible to create your own photo albums on the IPhone, there is only the one album.
3. It is not possible to delete photos from the IPhone album, except by deleting them from your computer and syncing, not a very efficient process.
I expected more from "Apple".

  • 25.
  • At 08:02 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • James Millar wrote:

Nicomo your wrong. The iPhone is quad band GSM phone so will work on both sides of the atlantic.

It supports 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz. Not sure exactly what your argument is now.

The industry as a whole has been convinced for a long time that the only thing holding back the iPhone is Exchange support. Now we have it on the roadmap there is nothing to stop the iPhone dominating the market.

  • 26.
  • At 08:13 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Jones wrote:

Nicomo - the iPhone is quad band. Which GSM frequency were you after?

  • 27.
  • At 08:23 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • aled long wrote:

You can't change the battery.
You can on my 30 quid Nokia.
You can't change the sim card.
You can on my 30 quid Nokia.
You can't install 3rd party software.
You can on my 30 quid Nokia.


  • 28.
  • At 09:11 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Nicolas Grison wrote:

The iPhone is a great device but was clearly lacking some vital features for the enterprise market. It now seems that everything the IT world asked for, and quite a bit more, will be delivered in June. Those enterprise features on their own would make the iPhone a very strong Blackberry competitor. But when the same device includes a web browser that is light years ahead, a video iPhone, and plenty of third party apps...
I think that RIM Executives have some sleepless nights ahead. Because in an hour, Steve Jobs might have just killed their company!
Regarding the post above... The iPhone is Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) so works pretty much everywhere around the world.

  • 29.
  • At 09:35 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Lewis wrote:

I have had my iPhone since christmas and i still haven't tired of it one bit.

Its main flaw was sorted by the first update that Apple released and there is so much more coming that it makes it feel like you're getting a new phone each time.

Being able to play games on it will be a great thing although those times when bored can already be filled by checking the Apps at apple.com. Although iSonic would be a great addition.

I send e-mails with no problems and of course it isn't going to feature Word or Excel that mean co-operation between bitter rivals. I think in the next few months the iPhone is going to become a force to be reckoned with.

  • 30.
  • At 09:49 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

The comment by Ed made me chuckle. I'm not sure that he has ever used an iPhone. Fortunately I have, and I like it compared to numerous Nokias and SonyE's I've owned (I won't touch Samsung or Motorola due to poor interface software). It's nice that phones can be used for notes in a class, but I think using any current mobile would be pretty slow and inadequate compared to a laptop or good old pen and paper. The iPhone's keyboard, with a bit of practice, is as fast as most I've tried. Hang on though! Newsflash! The iPhone has a word function and can open word and excel documents! I can also access my Gmail emails on my iPhone, and it's built in! Comparing 2Mp cameras was soooooo 10 years ago, one is going to be about as good as the other, except you would never buy a phone with a 2Mp camera as it's selling point, it's just a handy extra. Plus there are all the extras that the iPhone has on top of the Vox… such as, bigger screen, better web browsing experience, infact better software design overall, no clumbsy buttons when you don't need them, better design on the outside and IT DOESN'T RUN WINDOWS. And now… third party applications which are going to fix all the areas that people whine that the iPhone doesn't have!

  • 31.
  • At 09:53 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Hedley Lamarr wrote:

Any chance of filtering these comments for inaccuracy/stupidity?

Nicomo - the iPhone is a GMS quad band phone.

  • 32.
  • At 09:55 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • topchat wrote:

Nice to see some perspective. O2 said that the iPhone was its largest selling single model, didn't they? Doesn't sound like a product in nappies or "nothing special".

Like many others, I suspect, I've been waiting for yesterday's announcements to help me make up my mind. Even after the euphoria has died down there is still enough in what Apple is offering to persuade me that come the Autumn (that is when my bank balance has recovered from summer holiday excesses) I'll be in the queue for an iPhone to replace my faithful and well-regarded Motorola KRZR.

My only worry is will they have any iPhones in stock when I come to buy!

  • 33.
  • At 10:12 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

Fantastic news now you can have longer to wait while EDGE that old has been, 2.5g tech tries to cope with the influx of more data than it can handle. Business users need things to happen and happen fast. HSDPA is the way forward. The iphone is a politicians phone it talks the talk but when you need action to be taken it will never deliver what it should.

  • 34.
  • At 10:16 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Woah - Ed,

How much does Mirosoft pay you to go around shilling for them like that?

Tone it down a bit!

  • 35.
  • At 10:33 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

Fantastic news now you can have longer to wait while EDGE that old has been, 2.5g tech tries to cope with the influx of more data than it can handle. Business users need things to happen and happen fast. HSDPA is the way forward. The iphone is a politicians phone it talks the talk but when you need action to be taken it will never deliver what it promises.

Oh and to #1 yes the n-gage as a gaming device has been dead for years but the platform of the same name is about to be launched.

  • 36.
  • At 10:47 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • andymac wrote:

Oh dear, the posts so far pour such negativity on the iPhone. This misses the whole point of the iPhone (& the iPod Touch to an extent) - it's a useful & usable gadget for the masses, and will continue to sell in buckets. 3G is coming this year, and now the SDK has been released we'll start to see a surge in applications
Yes I'm a fan of the iPhone & Mac OS ;-)

  • 37.
  • At 10:59 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie wrote:

I just watched the iPhone SDK video over at Apple.com and I have to say I'm pretty excited for this platform's future. More than anything the usability and customization of the iPhone interface is its trump card, and is leagues better than other touch based devices (see LG/HTC/Samsung.) Apple will only pull further ahead come June's 2.0 update, and with new hardware (with 3G finally) there'll be less and less to sneer about.

  • 38.
  • At 11:40 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Simon C wrote:

Alex, please read Ed's comment again. The iPhone may be able to read Word and Excel attachments, but Ed was talking about creating and sending these documents from the phone - the iPhone cannot do that. The iPhone can't even do something as basic as copy some text into an email. On my Windows Mobile device I could copy the URL of this blog and send it to a friend. I can't do that on my iPhone.

As someone who owned an HTC Windows mobile device and now an iPhone, I would say that the iPhone is a nice toy to use, but it just lacks the flexibility and functionality of the Windows Mobile devices. They in turn lack any finesse and are less stable (in my experience) than the iPhone.

It's six of one and half dozen of the other.

  • 39.
  • At 12:53 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Ensor wrote:

I have been a long time user of Windows Mobile smartphones, but have become increasingly annoyed with some of the inadequacies that Microsoft seem to have no intention of fixing - mainly Activesynch on the desktop and Pocket IE.

I have played with an iPhone and the UI experience and Safari are leaps and bounds ahead of Windows Mobile and Pocket IE.

The problem for me is that the hardware that runs Windows Mobile seems superior. I prefer a physical keyboard, and I want fast internet where there is no WiFi (and by fast I mean HSDPA / HSUPA not 3G). Built in GPS is also nice. All this can be had in one package with Windows Mobile, such as the HTC Kaiser, which I currently run.

So for me there is a gap between the excellent software on the iPhone and the hardware that supports Windows Mobile. At the moment I'm staying on Windows Mobile but my money is on Apple to fill that gap before Microsoft.

  • 40.
  • At 01:19 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

Erm... iPhone or XDA Orbit 2. It's a no brainer, the Orbit 2 every day of the week.

I won't bother listing the specs of both devices but if you go and compare the two and still prefer the iPhone then I'm afraid you are probably someone who buys gadgets based on looks than on their functionality.

  • 41.
  • At 01:30 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Pegsinho wrote:

I've had a good chuckle at Michaels comment. Says he had "Two Surprises" then goes on to list 4 (even though he can't count past 3 evidently). You can send pictures via e-mail, and if you can't use a program like iTunes, there's no hope for you at all.

Why is everyone banging on about 3G? I have had 2 3G phones and neither lasted longer than a day in terms of battery life, and neither was particularly mind-blowingly faster than the iPhone (especially considering the iPhone has a full internet browser so pages are much larger then the mobile based pages Nokia etc use). You don't need 3G to check e-mails. I would rather a world where WiFi had more coverage than companies going down the 3G road.

Oh and Uwe Paschen, Nokia is a Finnish brand...

  • 42.
  • At 01:31 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Natalie wrote:

I'm sorry but the BlackBerry will continue to rule the corporate business with its extensive security and reliability. The I-phone wont touch their market. Windows Mobile on the other hand are coming extremely close.

  • 43.
  • At 01:52 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Dominick Lock wrote:

I'm a previous user of Windows Mobile devices (both PocketPCs and Smartphones) and I'm now the proud user of an iPhone! I agree with Simon C (#26), it's six of one and half a dozen of the other! I enjoy my iPhone more than WM devices as its stable (answering the phone on WM was always hit-and-miss) and the interface just lacked style but in saying that, there are some instances where a WM device would do a better job than my iPhone (copy/paste, sending/receiving files, etc). I think Apple have done a great job so far and with the release of the SDK and the upcoming release of v2.0 in June, the iPhone is just getting better and better!

As for my thoughts on the article, clearly Apple have been listening to consumer demands as since iPhone-day one there have been calls for better connectivity (or just some at all) for MS Exchange as well as for 3rd Party apps and they are now looking to deliver! I think as time goes on Apple will look to get more of a foot-hold on the mobile market, meaning an inevitable move into the business sector. Granted, features such as HSDPA will have to be a 'must' in future versions of the iPhone in order to sway the IT community. Apple are in such a strong position right now that if I were any of their competitors, I'd be worried!!! As a consumer though, this is all good news - devices will keep improving.

  • 44.
  • At 03:21 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • John Minard wrote:

Natalie, sorry but you really really need to go to Apple.com and watch the video 'March 6th Event' and learn what's right around the corner for the iPhone inc very serious enterprise functionality such as:
MS Exchange ActiveSync
Push email, calendar, contacts
Remote wipe
etc
on top of WiFi and an operating system and Multi-Touch interface which is leap years ahead of anything out there.
Watch the video and educate yourself.

  • 45.
  • At 07:49 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

I think the significance of the iPhone is just going over a lot of people's heads. I've had mine since they first went on sale, and I love it. BUT, what excites me even more is that for the first time, we have really seen the future of mobile computing. Apple has shown us what is possible in a way that no other company has been able to. For all the bashers out there, keep in mind that the iPhone has only existed in the hands of consumers for 8 months. When this SDK really takes hold, and the faster iPhones come out, then we should really see some amazing stuff. I'm under no illusion that Apple will take over, there will always be competition. But I do believe that Apple is poised to become a real leader in the mobile world. Let's face it, most of the innovation in the cell phone world over the years has been incremental, no real big leaps. That wasn't a big issue with most people until MacWorld '07. Love it or hate it, Apple has opened the door to what is REALLY possible in the mobile world. Which companies step up and walk through that door remains to be seen...

  • 46.
  • At 09:16 AM on 08 Mar 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

You know it does amaze me. What sort of self important fool NEEDS to create an Excel spreadsheet "on the go"? Are people really that busy? Of course not; and if they think they are, then they probably should not be doing whatever "job" they think they are being effective at by creating spreadsheets on the move. The most amusing thing about Blackberries, is watching colleagues standing next to their desktop PCs in the office, checking their emails on their Blackberries. Or worse still, replying to emails in meetings, because this damned thing goes "ping!". People need to get over themselves, and start to realise what these devices could actually mean in terms of an impact to their daily lives. The iPhone is precisely that - a fun tool with an interface that must make other manufacturers cry into their milk. Its not perfect by any means, but it understands exactly what the user wants. Apple scores a bullseye. Again.

I am well aware that Nokia is Finish made well some of it any way, Nokia research is and technology is rather avant Guard! I used to have a Nokia Phone and read some of the updates on there new phones and research as well! I how ever use a Japanese Phone from DO CO MO since I am living in Japan now! I get every thing the i=Phone offers and more for buying the phone at $1.00 single dollar and with a monthly fee that i-Phone user would die for! Japan is way ahead of i-phone and I used to be a great fan of the I-phone even had one until I came across Japanese Phones, Sorry Japanese Phones are way way ahead!

  • 48.
  • At 12:32 AM on 09 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

The product is over rate and over priced. The Touch screen and Icons are the only things that are actually good about the device. The HTC (No I don't have one of them either) is far superior a product in terms of usability, battery life, functions, integration, contract choice.... and the list goes on.
SO what are you poor people actually paying for with the iPhone - the brand name Apple really as the device really is behind others and will always be playing catch up.
By the time it gets a 5mega pixel camera the rest will be on 7 or 10! Again by the time it gets 3g the others will have moved on.
Taken in by the marketing machine of Apple!

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC.co.uk