As many of you will have seen from my earlier posting ActiveSync for Exchange server is now available on the iPhone which is supposed to make the unit more appealing to the business user. With this in mind I contacted a friend of mine to let him know of the update as he had been keen to get one of these previously but had been stopped by the lack of support for Exchange Server.
However, I got a call later from him telling me that after contacting O2, whom their current business contract is with, they were unable to supply him with one under their current contract. Basically speaking he was told if he wanted one he would have to go to the local O2 shop and purchase on one of the special tarrifs and have his number ported over to the new contract. Now this seems ok however as with many businesses he has a shared tarrif, i.e. 2000 minutes shared between 3 handsets with free calls between handsets. So by doing this he would then loose the free calls between handsets and also incur another invoice each month, again not too bad for the small business. But if we take this to the enterprise, something Apple are keen to do, it gets more complicated. Let’s say for example we have 100 users in the business and all of them want to have the iPhone as it is “the” business phone to have; this would mean under this system they would have to have 100 separate contracts, 100 invoices sent each month and 100 direct debits to their account…..complete madness.
I mean come’on O2!! You need to look at this properly and create a system that works for the business users whom this product is so clearly targetted. If this is going to continue to be the case then I can see the slow takeup of the iPhone continueing for some time yet.
If anyone has any further information on this or package details which O2 did not want to reveal then please spill the beans I’d be interested to know.