When the iPhone came out in June of last year, I posted about whether it would be a good product for the mobile solo or small firm lawyer. Although there were many overall pluses for the road warrior who needed his/her phone to have effective access to e-mail and the web, one of the downsides (other than the fact that that ‘net access was through AT&T’s pokey EDGE network) was that it was not compatible with Exchange servers, used by many larger firms, as well as smaller ones who outsource the server to vendors like 1and1. Now, it looks like that is changing. A post today on PCWorld’s Business Center blog reports that Apple “is likely to introduce better support for corporate email solutions such as Lotus Notes and Exchange next week.” How this will be done, however, is another matter.
“What isn’t as clear to us is how Apple will accomplish this, whether this is from internal development (most likely), third-parties including MSFT (next likely) with its ActiveSync technology, or RIM Blackberry Connect (possible but less likely), or a combination of two or more.”
If you have remote access to your office system through a virtual private network, you may also be able to use your iPhone for this as well. An analyst with American Technology Research, cited in the post, predicts that Apple “will also deliver improved security . . . [and] better support of Virtual Private Networks.”
From all of this it would certainly appear that the iPhone, as a business product, is evolving, and you should keep an eye on it for when you are looking to upgrade your cell phone (assuming, when you do, that the product will be usable on your carrier’s network, if it isn’t AT&T).