People who know me, know that I am an Apple groupie. I use a MacBook Pro. I have an Apple network at home. I have several iPods. I use Apple Hi-Fi stereo speakers. I even have an Apple decal on my car. Basically, if Apple makes it, I want it. Except for the iPhone.
Yes, I agree that the interface is elegant—even seductive. I was blown away by Steve’s demo. It made me drool.
But, unfortunately, Apple still doesn’t quite get the business world. For example, Apple Mail doesn’t support the corporate Microsoft Exchange environment. To interact with Microsoft Outlook—the de facto corporate e-mail standard—you have to use Microsoft Entourage, a typical, bloated Microsoft application. I would much rather use Mail. In my opinion, Apple is missing a huge opportunity.
Ditto for the iPhone. While it appears to be a great consumer product, it will not ship with any support for Microsoft Exchange Server. As a result, millions of corporate users (like me) are out of luck. Unlike my Blackberry, it won’t interface with our corporate e-mail system. So, at best, it ends up being a very expensive toy. The last thing I need is another gadget (sigh).
This is too bad—especially for Apple. My guess is that there are millions of business users who would love to trade their Blackberries in for iPhones. Unfortunately, Apple is not giving us this option. We are not going to buy an additional device. So, we are forced to continue with our present technology and hope that Apple will eventually support Exchange. (The Gartner Group recently recommended that corporate IT departments avoid the Apple iPhone altogether.)
In the meantime, I will stick with my Blackberry. Frankly, with my new check-email-twice-a-day policy in place, I’m not even sure I need that. Oh well, maybe not buying an iPhone will be a blessing. It will be one less distraction.