Apple (s aapl), at the iPhone SDK launch last May, began a big push towards getting the iPhone into the enterprise — the traditional stronghold of the BlackBerry (s rimm). It rolled out enterprise-targeted features like push email/contacts/calendar, a global address list, VPN support and remote wipe. Now, more than a year later, how are big companies taking to the iPhone?
Apple COO Tim Cook gave some valuable statistics in the analyst Q&A during the company’s quarterly conference call yesterday:
[W]e are seeing growing interest with the release of the 3GS and iPhone OS 3.0, due in part to the new hardware encryption and the improved security policies. The phone is particularly doing well with small business and with large organizations that allow people to purchase the phones for individual use, and this is both in corporate and government settings. Specifically, to give you some numbers, almost 20% of the Fortune 100 have purchased at least 10,000 units or more and there’s now multiple corporations and government agencies who have purchased in excess of 25,000 each.
Though both Apple and Research In Motion are making huge profits on their respective devices, the BlackBerry has long been the device of choice for the business customer — everyone from Google (s goog) CEO (and Apple board member) Eric Schmidt to President Obama carries one. So Apple has a large hill to climb before it makes a serious dent in RIM’s bread and butter. Plus, the BlackBerry is available on just about every network in the world. In the U.S., at least, the iPhone is only available on AT&T, which, as we all know, many users don’t always prefer.
Some, including myself, credit the iPod with the resurgence of the Mac brand in the consumer sector, especially with the college crowd. Could the iPhone have the same effect on the enterprise?