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What CIOs want in Apple's next-generation smartphone

What CIOs want in Apple's next-generation smartphone

Wanted: More Flexible Mail Client

Davis says an Outlook mail client that works seamlessly with messages, contacts, calendars and tasks is high atop his iPhone 2.0 wish list. Davis says he pictures it much like the current BlackBerry interface, "only better."

"HTML emails should be readable; calendars should have the same look with any colors, etc," he says. "You should be able to view invites and free/busy times. And admins should be able to accept meeting requests on behalf of folks like they do in Outlook."

Hugh Scott, VP of IS for the wholesale business unit of Direct Energy, a retail energy provider with annual revenue of US$8 billion, seconds Davis's point.

"In order for the iPhone to be taken seriously as a business device, Apple needs to compete head to head with RIM, and to do that it would need to offer a corporate push e-mail solution that could be easily integrated with most organizations' Microsoft e-mail environments," Scott wrote in a review of the iPhone a few months after its release

Davis also thinks the iPhone would be much more appealing to businesses if it functioned with Microsoft Live Communicator and Sharepoint.

For instance, he says, he can currently look at an e-mail message's sender and addressee fields to see whether or not those people are online, whether they're free or busy and more.

"It would be great if presence worked when looking at e-mail" on the iPhone, Davis says.

And though Windows Mobile 6.0 users can access and login into Sharepoint using their Internet Explorer Mobile browsers, Davis says he's never been able to do so with his BlackBerry's browser

"I have a Sharepoint Intranet that is not accessible via Blackberry, and our field staff needs data that is posted out there," Davis says. If the iPhone could help those workers find the data they need, that ability would give the device a leg up on BlackBerry in that respect., he says.

Wanted: Stronger iPhone Warranty, Insurance Policy

Another thing: Albert C. Lee, IT director of New York Media, publisher of New York Magazine and NYMag.com, says the current one-year iPhone warranty offered by Apple/AT&T needs some serious work before IT departments consider large-scale iPhone deployments.

According to Lee, the existing iPhone warranty covers a very limited set of repairs, and whatever fixes it does cover must be setup through Apple and not AT&T, which can make the process more difficult for organizations that already go through carriers for repairs to other smartphones.

AT&T also doesn't currently offer an iPhone insurance plan for devices that are broken or seriously damaged during use, though the carrier provides supplemental insurance for other handsets, Lee says. (In case you're curious, the iPhone warranty states: "This warranty does not apply: to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, flood, fire, earthquake or other external causes.")

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