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3G iPhone not ready for the enterprise?

Business unsure, O2 punters unhappy

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Business users are complaining they have little idea of what the new iPhone will offer them, other than the fact that the low price is going to see every middle manager toting one while their IT departments fret about the lack of encryption and security on the phone.

Analyst J.Gold reckons businesses should be nervous of a device which offers no local encryption, and unknown central management systems.

He's issued a report on the subject, and is pretty damning in his analysis of the iPhone's security capabilities.

"Anything that I store on a BlackBerry is encrypted," he notes. "Even Microsoft, with the new services they're going to offer ... will allow encrypting files on the device ... For many users in a large organization, that's imperative. People can crack passwords, and ... who knows, business plans, competitive assessment. I can read everything you've got on there."

Gartner, meanwhile, is recommending that businesses wait until the software can be properly examined, after the July 11th launch, before deciding if they should let the uber-phone on the premises.

But it's not going to be easy to prevent the iPhone getting into every business, leaving IT departments hoping that Apple will approve some proper security software soon, and that they can trust iTunes to distribute it.

Normal punters, meanwhile, who have been paying £35 a month for their connections, are unhappy at being asked to shell out a ton for the next version, while business is concerned the low price will bring the iPhone in before there's proper security in place.

Apple's latest super-phone will be given away free to punters prepared to sign up to O2's £45-a-month tariff. Those who committed to paying £45 a month when they bought the last version are getting a free upgrade to 3G, but cheapskates who saved a tenner a month on the contract are now being asked to pay £99 to get up to 3G speeds.

As one poster on the O2 forum puts it:

"I've been on the £35 PM tariff since I shelled out £269 on launch day, my mate bought his at the same time but decided on the £45 PM tariff. By the time this 3G model launches next month he'll have paid £80 more than me over the space of 9 months in terms of PM charges yet I'll have to pay £99 if I want to upgrade whilst he'll get it free."

To which one can only quote Matthew 20:15: "Take what is yours and go ... Surely I am free to do what I like with my own money. Why be jealous because I am kind?"

Several posters to the forum are threatening to take their business elsewhere unless the offer improves, but it's hard to imagine someone who bought an iPhone on launch day balking at another hundred quid.®

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