back to article CIOs pooh-pooh the iPhone

Four out for four CIOs agree: the iPhone is no match for the Blackberry. Last night, at an event hosted by Silicon Valley's tech-happy Churchill Club, four high-profile CIOs - representing Google, Hasbro, Levi Strauss, and health care giant McKesson Corp - were asked if they'd carry an iPhone for business purposes, and all four …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These poo-poo-ers just don't do enough cool stuff..., y'know, home movies, and music, and, um, music. What kind of sick person does spreadsheets anyway?

  2. Andy

    Workarounds eh?

    From what I heard, there was that amazingly difficult workaround of enabling IMAP support in Exchange...

    Good luck to anyone wanting to get their company's IT department to accept the iPhone. It'll be the same attitude as to any other new technology: ban it and stubbornly pretend it doesn't exist, isn't possible or will break all manner of things. Of course, if you're high enough up the chain you make your own rules.

  3. Stephen

    And this is supposed to be a surprise?

    The iPhone is no Blackberry, and it never will be. It is neither a 'smart-phone' or a 'mobile office', it is only a multimedia phone - nothing more and nothing less.

    This *might* change in the future...but only if Apple develops new software for the phone that is aimed at business users (like that will ever happen) and drops the dependance on iTunes (hell freezing over?). Give it a few years and perhaps gen 3/4 of the iPhone will be more appealing to a business user...after all it took RIM a few goes before they were accepted.

  4. Neil Anderson


    Is that a lot of CIOs whistling in the dark I hear?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These CIOs don't seem very technical

    They probably don't even understand what POP, SMTP, or IMAP is. Pretty standard stuff really.

    Instead they locked themselves into proprietary protocols controlled by RIM and MS. I think standing in front of people saying, "we won't use new devices because unknowingly we dumped money into and locked ourselves in with proprietary/non-compatible server technologies from RIM and Microsoft," should be enough of a reason to be fired as CIO.

    There job is to tell employees how to accomplish something with technology, not tell them they can't do it. I run into this mentality all the time.

    me: "I want to VPN in and use SSH on my Treo."

    them: "You can't do that."

    me: "Yes I can, just let me know the shared secret for the VPN"

    them: "We don't support Treos on our network."

    me: "It's my job to successfully accomplish this. You are supposed to help me succeed in my job"

    them: "No I'm supposed to stop you from accomplishing anything."

    me: gives up.

  6. Graham

    Never ignore a Pooh-pooh!

    You know, if there's one thing I've learned from being in the army, it's never ignore a pooh-pooh. I knew a major: got pooh-poohed; made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh -- he pooh-poohed it. Fatal error, because it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers, who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs. In the end, we had to disband the regiment -- morale totally destroyed ... by pooh-pooh!

  7. Terry

    The difference between home use and corporate use.

    It's usually possible to get any device to link to any mail system. But in a corporate environment the fact you can do something is outweighed by the cost of implementing and supporting it.

    Most corporations have gone for Blackberrys because they do everything the business needs them to do while at the same time being easy to set up and maintain. For them to take on another device would require investment in the systems to support the devices, staff training in using and supporting the phones and increased implementation time for future corporate systems to ensure compatibility. So far the iPhone doesn't offer the corporation anything to make that investment worthwhile

    For the iPhone to break into the corporate market it would need to out Blackberry the Blackberry.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    four out of four CIO's shouldn't even consider it.

    Its strikes me that four our four CIO's should be staying focused on enterprise products. Rather than trying to generate negative hype around a consumer product.

    I also read that four out of four CIO's think scalectrix isn't a scalable option for communting, despite the name suggesting it is.

  9. Nick Palmer

    Actually, CIOs can probably work out...

    ...that they don't need IMAP when Activesync does a better job, and that they can have full scheduling and task management, as well as push email, for a lot less using a Windows Mobile device than farting about setting up IMAP to service a piece of cack with slow connectivity (GPRS only? I see Apple's Peruvian Jogging Powder budget's survived intact...) that costs a bomb and whose major selling points aren't oriented toward business anyway. Of course, one can enable IMAP or POP3 on a front end server anyway, but seriously - why on earth would you want to? I mean if you REALLY hate Windows Mobile, you can always use Nokia's E-series business phones (although the Exchange client's a bit cack...). Using Exchange doesn't "lock you in" to not using POP3 or IMAP - they're just not as good as the alternative.

  10. Lee Staniforth

    Re: "These CIOs don't seem very technical"

    Yes, but nobody got fired for recommending Microsoft, as the adage goes.

  11. myxiplx

    relevant how?

    Did anyone bother to check if those 4 CEO's already have a company wide investment in blackberry?

    If they do it's not surprising they're not prepared to move to iPhones yet. You don't throw away company wide communications infrastructures at the drop of a hat.

    For a technical publication, this article's managed to skim right over the relevant technical details.

  12. greg


    Locked in with MS and RIM? Last I saw, Apple were most famous for lockins and incompatibility... you try using music from iTunes on anything other than an iPod, or try upgrading your Mac computer for a reasonable price. Fact is, Apple are the ringleaders when it comes to lock-ins, and the iPhone is no exception.

    At least MS are trying to make some of their stuff standardised and inter-compatible. More than anyone can say for Apple.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Pretty decent pieces of opinion here, and just one Wintel fanboi clown so far...

    It's not a businessphone and there you could end it. All in all this is about a bunch of guys who are being forced into defensive mode because they made bad decisions. They prolly are the same kind of spreadsheet-drunk dimwits who got the whole Winmonopoly upon the world. Also, I am glad to have the obligatory daily iPhone bashing article behind me already.

  14. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: These CIOs don't seem very technical

    Actually, Blackberry Enterprise Server doesn't just work with MS Exchange, it also works with Domino/Notes and Groupwise, and has done so for a while. Doesn't sound very proprietary or lock-in to me.... Since BES 4.1 (I think, if I remember correctly) there has also been options for introducing third-party apps in a supported manner.

    Blackberrys with BES will win and keep on winning in the business world for the same reason MS does - they deliver what is needed, and replacing them means change which means risk which usually kills even cheaper alternatives, let alone over-priced fanboy gadgets.

    I remember when we got Treos to test - everyone loved them but no-one was willing to swap their tried and tested BB for one, and that was when we had ancient 8100s and 7100s!

  15. Peter

    Thats funny...

    Imagine SJ's reaction to "cool it's just like a Blackberry" :-)

    Akin to saying "That Dali Lama, he's not catholic"

  16. Ted Treen

    Never let facts get in the way

    So the iPhone doesn't do something that Apple said it wouldn't do, and is not a wild smash in a market/usage at which Apple said it wasn't aimed...

    Does that mean I should slate our Citroen C3 because it:-

    a) won't fly (BALPA states C3 is no match for Airbus)

    b) won't cross the channel on it's own (MOD slates C3 as totally unsuited for amphibious landings).

    Hey, what the hell? It means El Reg can now show they're uber-cool by slating Apple yet again - even if by proxy.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's an achievement in itself to get some business people figuring out how to use the BlackBerry, with IT departments getting a seemingly endless number of support calls over it, so they wouldn't want to put their IT departments out of business by providing something as easy to use as an iPhone can be.

    That said I agree that the iPhone isn't ready for broad corporate use, but if 3rd party applications were made available for it, this could change overnight. The email push issue though is something Apple could easily rectify though through a software update for the existing device.

  18. Frank Bough


    General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, as ever, speaks the truth.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT mentality

    me: "It's my job to successfully accomplish this. You are supposed to help me succeed in my job"

    them: "No I'm supposed to stop you from accomplishing anything."

    It's funny, I run into your mentality a lot working in IT. Ever considered that their primary job is to maintain the stability and security of the network? Now, granted an inaccessible network is pretty useless, but so is a crashed or hacked one.

    You'll find any decent IT department when asked to do something like supporting a new mobile device will start with looking at the device, what it requires, and it's possible effects on the whole network. Once risk assessed and an implementation planned, it can be tested, then rolled out to the network as a whole.

    This takes time, something a lot of IT departments don't have a lot of, so to go through the process for one person is obviously a lot of effort for a small return, when that time could be used completing mission critical tasks.

    I agree IT should work for the company and provide as much flexability as possible, but this must be balanced with security, stability and ROI.

    Next time you ask your IT department to do something just for you and they deny your request, consider that they might just know what they're doing.....

  20. mokum von Amsterdam

    The reg....

    ... does it again: blatant iPhone bashing based on absolutely fukc all...

    I do not mind: I love reading biased stuff for breakfast, but the one thing that makes the Reg worthwhile zapping through the opinions based on hear say is the humor. That what makes your crap stand out. This article lacks it, big time.

    Biting hands and what not is good, but make it at least funny when not useful.


    mokum von Amsterdam

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If a bunch of CIOs don't like iPhone, does anybody really care?

    Its like everything Mac'ified - Its designed for fun whereas CIOs are designed to suck the fun out of everything.

    Kudos to Google for at least thinking outside of the box.

    Although iPhone may be a fun phone for now, it would have been too ambitious to try go right for the top end at first introduction. If this phone has been so successful, imagine when their Blackberry competition is release .... or should I say Unleashed *lol*

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a silly article

    When would _any_ company ever consider immediately deploying a product which has only been on the market for a few weeks? For goodness' sake.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not for businesses.... and maybe not for consumers?

    Please can you post something about the new report from I don't know which market analyst claiming that the actual HypePhone sales numbers are much lower than what initially thought. They say the accurate number could be something around 200k phones sold.

    And by the way: who cares if this analyst is wrong.... it's still more HypePhone poohpooh flying around :)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And AT&T confirms

    It appears that AT&T has signed up 146,000 iPhone customers. So the other 354,000 have just locked the Jesus Phone in a holy shrine still packed in its original box. Well OK about 10 of them have actually opened the box and are trying to hack the phone (with promising results so far).

  25. Ned Fowden

    gotta love the apple fan-boys

    it would be nice to see a thoroughly constructive post from an apple fan-boy for a change.

    as one of the earlier posts said "The iPhone is no Blackberry, and it never will be. It is neither a 'smart-phone' or a 'mobile office".

    it's aimed at the kind of user that doesn't mind spending $600 for a cell phone, usually the price area for one of those types mentioned.

    it is nothing more than a multimedia phone, and i'm sure we can all agree that ti does what it does fairly well.

    but as always apple are hyping to the majority but only selling to the minority.

    it's too expensive to be an impact in the arena it's in, it's not good enough to have an impact in the arena it's aimed at.

    it's clear that it's no ipod, and unless they stick a cell function in one then the iphone will be a flop as 99.99% of people are predicting still

    i'll stick to my nokia 6310i & ipod mini thank you very much indeedy

  26. Bob Calder

    CIOs? lol, no way

    Did you guys scrape this story from the CIO ragazine? Seems like more CIO masturbation going on.

    Why would I want to use a handheld that I can actually read and not have to poke with its own special little stick? I mean, who actually comes up with this drek? It's a no-brainer.

    If you think about mail services, the average ISP leverages the ancient technology to serve hundreds of times more simultaneous users than any corporation.

    There is nothing special about the iPhone. It is just the same old stuff done better. Hard to upgrade? Puhleeze! A few days ago a pedometer was added by a third party.

  27. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    iPhone as SmartPhone

    Actually the iPhone is more of a "dumbphone". It can't support 3rd-party software, so it will never hit the real smartphone market in its current state. My $200 W300i is more than a Smartphone in that sense...

    It will surely impact on the consumer market, because Blackberry users already have a smartphone, and won't throw it away for an overpriced mp3 player. Plus, if they have the same restrictions I have at my job, they might not even be able to get the damn phone past security! (Smartphones are restricted to corporate-only for security reasons).

    Most corporate dudes may already have an iPod anyway, so I doubt they'd rake $600 on an iPhone ... unless they have that much to spare.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeez Greg, Windowz Fanboy much?


    Locked in with MS and RIM? Last I saw, Apple were most famous for lockins and incompatibility... you try using music from iTunes on anything other than an iPod, or try upgrading your Mac computer for a reasonable price. Fact is, Apple are the ringleaders when it comes to lock-ins, and the iPhone is no exception.

    At least MS are trying to make some of their stuff standardised and inter-compatible. More than anyone can say for Apple.


    This is so inaccurate maybe it was bait and you were joking, but I have to respond.

    Let's talk upgradability. My PowerBook and MacMini take the same RAM and Hard drives and CPUs your PC laptop does. I've already upgraded my MacMini's RAM and hard drive with the same low cost components you get for your PC laptop. And when I get some extra cash I plan on installing a new Core 2 Duo CPU in my Mini too. How much more upgradable can you get in small form factor computers?

    As for using my iTunes tracks, they are all mp3s ripped from my CDs within iTunes so I can use them on any device. Oh you mean ones purchased from iTunes? Who does that? If you do, their newer higher bitrate tracks don't have DRM, and since most MP3 devices can play AAC without DRM now, you could use them on other devices too.

    Once Apple dropped the proprietary ADC connector for monitors, that was about the time your statements about proprietary stuff become outdated.

    Although you say "At least MS are trying to make some of their stuff standardised and inter-compatible." I haven't seen that at all. They decided to come up with their own protocols when industry standard ones like IMAP and iCalender (RFC 2445). Instead of adopting and perhaps expanding those standards, they forced people into lock in. No go drink your MS Kool-aid and say "doh!"

  29. Chris

    Funny, I seem to have missed the iPhone Business ad.. know, the ad where a suave suit-clad business man signs an oil deal while simultaneously retrieving his email and selling some stock, his Jaguar sedan and hot secretary reflected in the touch-screen of his Apple iPhone.

    (though plenty of other cell companies HAVE used fantasy advertising hyperbole to sell a lifestyle rather than an actual device).

    That's because Apple have never called this a business phone. They really haven't been telling everyone that the iPhone will be the solution for all mobile everything - there's no story here. Proprietary email protocol lock-ins and technical arguments aside, there's no reason to snicker at how the iPhone isn't a BlackBerry - in the same way that there's no reason to snicker that a Sony Ericsson W880i isn't better than a BlackBerry or that a BlackBerry isn't better than an iPod.

    Yes, Apple need to bring the price down - but that's a completely different discussion...

  30. Jim

    Surprise, surprise...

    Corporates are not throwing away years of investment on yet to be fully tested hardware.

    Where is the story here? No matter what you think of Apple's first phone, I would have been amazed if any CIO of a major corp (save for one) would have ditched proven tech for the unknown - pure suicide.

    Pure Apple-hater trolling...

    (and, as usual, it worked)

  31. Gary

    re: IT mentality

    Whilst I wholeheartedly agree, the iPhone is a great device - although clearly not in it's current incarnation is it capable of fulfilling the needs of a large number of businesses. Any prima-donna 'execs' forcing their IT depts to hook them up are foolish, naive & reckless.

    Once Apple have added some useful apps, fixed the current bugs (there's a fair few of them) and fixed the security holes then it'll be closer to being acceptable for the corporate world. It's not going to happen overnight, but support for it may come with time. Remember that this is rev 1...I don't recall version 1 of any product becoming the holy grail right off the bat.

    Give Steve a few more revs to hit the sweet spot...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trolling the apple freaks

    Anyone who uses a Mac like to anonymous freak who keeps flaming MS needs to get a life. Mac addicts in corporate IT worlds are well known losers. They gripe about how bad MS is, but since it's cool to be the outsider they lose the perspective that I'm in charge and they are my bitch when it comes for getting permission to do anything on my network.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are your bitch


  34. Chris

    I'm with the CIOs on this one

    Until Apple releases an interactive pornographic genital recognizing "multitouch" application, I won't be getting an iPhone. I do have to say, I can type much faster on the iPhone with my "member" than I can on tactile feedback button phones. It still has some problems distinguishing what keys I hit, but that might have to do with the limited surface area of the "little me."

    Seriously, you want CIOs to adopt technology like this? You need to give them something that excites blow snorting, champy spraying, self-indulgent, overly self-absorbed, and self-important (key word SELF) prickbags that are CIOs to begin with.

    Why do you think Windows is so popular in the corporate environment? Solitaire! And I bet the group policy preventing it's use applies to everyone but

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