Services & Software

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.