Final report: The iPhone is not open for business

I interviewed attendees at the Office 2.0 Conference to see if they thought the iPhone was a good business platform.

At the Office 2.0 conference, as you probably know, every attendee got an iPhone with their paid admission. There was a very useful iPhone-friendly Web site set up, and several companies were showing off shiny new iPhone business applications.

But is the iPhone a business-class product? I talked to the developers making applications for this platform, and to attendees at the conference, and came up with a disheartening answer: It is not. From the two-handed interface to capricious keyboard to the slow Edge network to the lack of a real developer's interface to the phone, it's just missing too much to be adopted as a business platform. Most of the iPhone applications I saw were highly de-featured offshoots of their full online versions.

Next year at the Office 2.0 conference, organizer Ismael Ghalimi is hoping that he'll be able to have a custom device built for attendees. Or he could just take Palm's inventory of abandoned Foleos off its hands.

About the author

Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.


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