3/12/2008 11:18:00 AM
Apple to target b2b market
Apple is to target the b2b market with new Microsoft Office applications as it looks to hit its target of 10 million sales by the end of 2008.
The Microsoft Office applications will be available for the device in June and a third-party software development kit is also to be launched, as the line between consumer and business smartphones is further blurred.
Apple also announced the immediate availability of a beta release of the software to selected developers and enterprise customers.
Apple is hoping that by increasing the range of applications available on its handset it will drive worldwide sales of 3.7 million closer to its 10 million target by the end of the year.
The 2.0 software upgrade allows technology companies to create games, widgets and applications for the iPhone.
It will also mean iPhone users will be able to use Microsoft Exchange for push-email, along with Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Apple’s deal with Microsoft will see the iPhone move further into an area of the market occupied by b2b market leaders and BlackBerry manufacturer RIM.
RIM recently increased its focus on the consumer smartphone territory, with a high-profile campaign promoting the pink Pearl 8110 at Carphone Warehouse, and the introduction of consumer friendly tariffs with T-Mobile.
The software upgrade in June will also support Cisco encryption software, for the transmission of sensitive corporate data, also enabling businesses to remotely wipe potentially sensitive data from iPhones, making the device more attractive to corporate users.
At last week’s announcement Venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) also launched a £50m ‘iFund’ for companies developing ‘market-changing ideas and products’ for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch.