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iPhone finds favor with business users

Survey indicates 59 percent of business customers "very satisfied" with their iPhone; 47 percent say the same of their BlackBerry.

Wireless carriers offering the iPhone may be concentrating their efforts on consumers, but research suggests they shouldn't neglect business users, who apparently love the touch-screen interface.

The Apple device beats the competition hands down when it comes to user-satisfaction rates, according to a survey of enterprise smartphone users in the U.K.

More than half (59 percent) of iPhone-owning business customers said they are "very satisfied" with the device, according to the survey, by emerging-technology research company ChangeWave Research.

Research In Motion's BlackBerry--which has the lion's share of the enterprise market--ranked second, with just under half (47 percent) of those surveyed being "very satisfied" with the device. Nokia came third (with 40 percent), followed by Samsung Electronics (30 percent), Motorola (25 percent), and Palm (10 percent).

"It is a very interesting launch product and, once it has settled into use, the price should become more realistic," said Alastair Behenna, chief information officer at IT-management specialist Harvey Nash. "If nothing else, it will act as a catalyst to other manufacturers, and the competitive evolution of the will definitely be worth keeping a watching brief on."

In the U.K., wireless carrier O2 UK recently told ZDNet UK that it is working with Apple on hammering out rates for business users. O2 said it is hopeful the fee schedule will launch at some point this year.

Natasha Lomas of reported from London.