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Analysts slam iPhone security and battery life

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Industry analysts have decreed that the new iPhone's lack of security and poor battery life make it unsuitable for all but the lightest enterprise use.

The conclusions come in a nine-page research note from Gartner, as reported by Computerword. Entitled iPhone 2.0 Is Ready for the Enterprise, but Caveats Apply, it is based on analysis of the new iPhone version 2.0 software and 3G handset.

According to Ken Dulaney, author of the report, the lack of battery life on the 3G iPhone makes it impossible to maintain synchronisation with an Exchange server for a full day even if no calls are made. That's a serious issue, but the lack of security is the biggest impediment to enterprise adoption.

The iPhone does now offer a remote wipe option allowing your local BOFH to clear data from lost or stolen handsets, but the lack of encryption on the device itself worries Ken, who believes it will also scare enterprise users.

Apple is hopeful that third-party applications will come along to provide encryption services, and assured Gartner that an API exists to provide encryption. However no applications are yet taking advantage of it, so there's no way to judge how that's going to impact battery life or usability.

Dulaney also highlights the high cost of roaming, and the usual niggles about lack of clip-board functionality - pointing out that if someone emails you appointment details then "the quickest way to [get them into the calendar] on the iPhone today is to write the details down on a piece of paper and re-enter them".

iPhones may already be found in many board-rooms, where senior managers have overridden IT department objections, but Apple would like to sell to the middle managers who lack that power, and that would be a lot easier with Gartner's seal of approval. ®

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