The analyst firm Gartner will tell IT executives to keep Apple's iPhone away from their networks, in a research report to be released within a week.
"We're telling IT executives to not support it because Apple has no intentions of supporting (iPhone use in) the enterprise," Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney says. "This is basically a cellular iPod with some other capabilities and it's important that it be recognized as such."
The iPhone, scheduled to ship in the US on June 29, appears to be a great consumer device but has no redeeming qualities from the perspective of a business user, Dulaney says. Besides lacking,security features like a firewall, the product does not support Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes, so corporate users would have to forward e-mail to an Internet service provider, he says. Gartner's research note warning against business usage of the iPhone will likely be issued Monday, according to Dulaney.
"You'll have e-mail in a place that's unsecured. There are no firewalls on the device. There's no ability to wipe (data from) the device if it's lost," Dulaney says.
Businesses have little, if any interest in the iPhone and Apple isn't marketing it to the business sector anyway, says Randy Giusto, who leads IDC's analysis of mobile devices, computing and computer markets.
"The iPhone is not positioned at all for the IT world," he say. "It's a very personal device. Most corporations are probably not going to support the iPhone on their networks."
Apple may not be making a direct appeal to enterprises, but AT&T is betting that business users will want the iPhone, the IDG News Service reported in April. AT&T plans to market the iPhone to business users and is making sure its backend enterprise billing and support systems will accommodate the device, the report stated.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Apple does plan to go after the business market with the iPhone, but must come up with a strategy for integrating with business software systems that will be acceptable to IT executives.
Apple's spokeswoman for the iPhone could not be reached for comment.
"Enterprises are not going to buy this so employees can buy music and watch movies," Dulaney says. "Business has a very narrow purview of what they want to get done. ... From the consumer perspective, Gartner is really positive about this device and it really changes the game."