Why I’m Not Buying an iPhone

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.

Iphone Inhandhome C

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.

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  • nonames

    I take it back, you do know what you are talking about.
    Don’t buy an iPhone.

  • http://brianjones.org Brian

    Mike, your last paragraph seems to contradict the thrust of the rest of your post: Because you are only checking email twice a day, you don’t need a Crackberry-like email pusher, so the lack of (virus) Exchange support is a BENEFIT, not a drawback! The iPhone seems like the perfect phone for you to carry. It will help break your addiction to email.

    Sure, for many other corporate types out there, the iPhone might be wrong. But for you–an Apple lover on a low information diet–it’s perfect.

    Sure, having Safari might tempt you to get off Tim Ferris’s Low Information Diet. Then again, since your iPhone is an iPod, you can just listen to music instead of compulsively checking your email or surfing the web.

    So, while there is evidence on both sides, the balance seems to tip toward an iPhone in Michael’s pocket. You’re in denial now, but once the device is out there in the wild, with rave reviews being published every day, you won’t be able to resist. That’s my prediction.

  • http://withinthebeginninginmind.blogspot.com Andrew Wilkie


    I’m not an apple groupie..I’ve seen too many Apple problems on my travels..So many people I know have sent off there IPods for repair and replacement. I thought a phone was for phoning..I’ll not be getting an IPhone.

    Outlook is not the corporate defacto standard…You’re for getting Lotus Notes and Domino. Check out Notes 8.



  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    I SO want an iPhone! But alas, I live in a small town and our cellular services available are limited. But the very minute I CAN have one, I will grab it. I like Mac Mail myself and hate bloated Entourage. I don’t have a corporate server to log into so I’m good. :-) I’m a recent Mac convert, and the iPhone looks like an awesome gadget I’ve got to have.

  • Bert Eckenheimer

    You said, “…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…”
    IMAP, POP, SMTP, and MIME are examples of email standards. (ref: http://www.imc.org/rfcs.html) What Microsoft has is a very pervasively used proprietary implementation that complies with no standards at all. I’m not going to get all rabid about Microsoft lockins and their predatory behavior, but you may want to know that there are systems out there that are standards-compliant and will do the job for your company as well or better than Outlook and the MS mail servers.
    If you were a typical professional at the mercy of corporate IT, it makes sense not to get an iPhone. As CEO, why not ask your CIO if he/she has considered other mail servers besides MS’s? The results of a cost/benefi analysis might surprise you. Just my two cents.

    FYI, I won’t be buying an iPhone until at least Spring 2008. I’ve learned to avoid the first version of a new product.


    – Bert

  • http://ceruleansanctum.com DLE

    Honestly, I must ask why any Christian would spend $500 on a cell phone when a $50 one will do job. Going further, perhaps we could just say no to cell phones and other expensive gadgets that only distract us from our ultimate reason for living. Maybe we should stop letting the world’s system run our lives. When I think of the $450 we could instead spend on helping the poor and disenfranchised, our neighbor who can’t pay her medical bills, or the guy in our church whose company packed up and moved his job overseas, it saddens me to think how many Christians would rather have a cool phone than be salt and light to a dying world.

  • http://mylifeunderthesun.blogspot.com/ Michele

    Can we have a cell phone if we do those things too? :-)

    I’ve wanted it since I saw it but I won’t be getting it because it’s too expense (they need to bring the price down to the $300 range) and because it’s Cingular and I have Verizon.

    As a stay at home mom, I don’t need Microsoft mail :-)

  • Les Middleton


    I thought I wanted an iphone until I read your blog. Now I am not so sure. Traveling as much as I do would present quite a problem if the unit did not receive email. It is glitzy though and I do love my MAC. Thanks for the insight.

  • http://dbriggins.blogspot.com David Riggins

    Interesting how we are drawn to gadgets. They don’t do much for our lives other than scratch an itch, but they are persuasive. I won’t be getting an iPhone. Don’t really use the simple LG I use for work. To me, it’s a leash to a world in which I am merely passing through as an occupier of enemy territory, as it were. If I am so tied to the things of this world, then I am not doing my job.

  • http://www.spinningsilkmultimedia.com/blog Patrick

    Well, I’m a Christian and a business owner. I plan on getting an iPhone for my business. We are small business but have pretty much standardized on Macs for desktops however we do run Windows in virtualization for testing purposes and we running Linux on an internal server and use Linux servers for our hosting. Yes if you are just wanting to use a “cell phone” for phone call then the iPhone is too much however my current phone is about to bite the bullet. As far as my business is concerned I can actually be a better steward of our money but have a device that does these things. I personally believe in rewarding Apple and other companies that are committed to excellence in design and usability.

    My frugal site doesn’t want to spend money on hardly anything despite the fact I use Macs and Adobe Software. I actually plan on using the iPhone as a testing platform, marketing device and way to give my customers quicker service. I doubt my company will ever go the “exchange” route in my business or hope that I don’t have to. I do wish Apple had a stronger “enterprise” presence.

  • http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=534 MattCrow


    Found this latest rumor about the iPhone and Exchange.

  • Todd


    First, I just wanted to say I enjoy reading your blog!

    Apple mail does have exchange support:

    An Exchange account allows you to connect to your Exchange server via IMAP, and if you enter text in the Outlook Web Access Server field, Mail filters non-email related content from the server. (You can get the text you need to enter from your mail account provider.) For Exchange to work with Mail, Exchange administrators need to configure the Exchange server for IMAP access. Some system administrators may refer to an Outlook Web Access Server as an Internet Information Services (IIS) server.

  • http://www.mediasplash.net David Koss

    Looks like there may be support after all…


  • borba

    Nice device, wonderful interface! Proprietary as always (no simcard removal /no chat/ no memory card/ no battery removal) … the ripoff scheme with AT&T plans made me quick about getting one for my daughter. I’m not that stupid.

  • http://islandinthenet.com Khürt Williams

    You are now cleared to review the 3G iPhone. Much of what you felt was missing is now available.

  • Anonymous

    How long was it before you bought one?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It was about a year.