Some may gawk that Apple chose to work with Microsoft on a corporate e-mail solution for the iPhone but, really, after Palm did (before it offered Windows Mobile handsets) Nokia licensed ActiveSync (in the days before it was Silverlight-friendly), there wasn’t much doubt that Apple would be amenable to doing so.
Despite now having the Exchange imprimatur, the iPhone probably won’t overtake Blackberry overnight, but its acceptance of Exchange indicates another setback for Blackberry Connect. Still, even though many enterprises don’t have an up-to-date enough Exchange server to support ActiveSync, more of them will get there at some point. RIM certainly hasn’t helped its cause with recent (albeit brief) outage.
Despite it being positioned as the ideal enterprise mobile device, study after study has shown mobile e-mail as the killer application for these devices and you can effectively do that on a device that is a lot cheaper than an iPhone. Of course, if that’s what businesspeople are buying with their own money anyway, that could become a moot point. In fact, to some extent Apple is betting on that.
I’ve asked Apple representatives if Apple would allow a third-party Blackberry Connect application to be offered in the App Store or whether they might consider that a security risk. I should hear more on that later..
Update: RIM shows they’re down with cool consumer media, too!