Apple last week revealed details of the U.K. version of the iPhone, which will be available beginning November 9.
, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs
Despite the cost, a poll of more than 700 readers by Silicon.com found that a third would switch to another mobile operator just to get their hands on an iPhone. The U.S. version,
However, when Silicon.com asked the 12 members of a CIO Jury IT director panel whether they have plansin the range of corporate phones they offer, .
Ian Campbell, British Energy chief information officer, said his organization is planning to make the iPhone available to some staff. "It's likely to be at the executive end rather than general-purpose. A killer application or use would drive up demand," he said.
Tying the iPhone exclusively to O2 is one of the biggest barriers to corporate adoption, said Peter Birley, IT director at law firm Browne Jacobson. "Regardless of
David Supple, director of IT and creative services at Ecotec, raised additional concerns. "Aside from the phone being limited to only one network, I can't see how this is a serious business tool, and I would have some concerns over staff being targeted for theft of what is a very desirable object," he said.
Michael Elliot, IT director at toy maker Hasbro UK, said the iPhone will be on a "watching brief" only for now. "We have an existing bulk contract currently with Vodafone and no plans to allow folks to stray from it in the near term. I expect to get pressure but early-adopter experience may not be all positive," he said.
The iPhone's price tag and lack of integration with Microsoft Exchange are the other issues for corporate IT departments.
"It's far too pricey. In a few months' time it may be a useable tool, but we'll have to see whether Microsoft Exchange integration is at all possible," said Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director at publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK.
If the response of the chief information officers is anything to go by, Research In Motion's BlackBerry shouldn't be under threat as a business communication tool.
"We use BlackBerrys and then lightweight laptops with
Asked whether he planned to allow the iPhone as a corporate phone, Andy Pepper, director of business IT at tea supplier The Tetley Group, simply said: "Not at that price."
Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.