Why Apple iPhone over RIM Blackberry?
Steve Sparks, 03/07/2008
The short answer is: The new features of iPhone integration with
Exchange Server negate the years of technology lock RIM has had on the
Enterprise Email Market.
Don't skip the rest of my note because you think iPhone is more
expensive than Blackberry. You might get deep discounts on devices
however you still have to:
1. Pay $100 per device for Blackberry Enterprise Server,
2. Pay for Blackberry Enterprise Server $1000 - $4000
3. Support the server
a. Including patches,
b. Server upgrades and
c. Fight with communications issues between
i. BES and Your Email Server
ii. BES and RIM Corporate
iii. BES and Your RIM Device
You remove all those factors when you remove BES from you data center.
You also might think you would have the same issues with iPhone and
Exchange. However the issues move from supporting at a minimum BES and
Exchange to just Exchange.
The iPhone is not a RIM killer until you add Microsoft Exchange with
Microsoft Exchange with Active Sync is not as much as a threat to BES
and RIM until you add the iPhone. Together they provide a superior
combination that gives each user a start of the art device and removes
the tight fist of RIM from the neck of your mail server.
Together Apple and Microsoft provide a superior combination in
1.User interface on the iPhone (Fully Featured Email Reader, Touch
2.Ability to configure wireless access through the easy to use iPhone
3.Redundant connectivity options to email and (Internal & External
4.Eliminate the reliance of a third party (RIM)
5.Eliminate at times a 4th party (cellular carrier) disruption in
connectivity to email and corporate services.
What is takes for the Blackberry to work:
Who is invited to the RIM Party?
1. Corporate Blackberry
2. Corporate Email Server
3. Blackberry Enterprise Server
4. Corporate Internet Connection
5. RIM Servers located at RIM Headquarters
6. RIM Servers Connection to Corporate Carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile,
7. Your Carrier's ability to communicate with the RIM device
If everyone of the above does not show up or decides to delay entry
into the party you might as well have a traditional cell phone.
What it takes for the iPhone and Exchange Server with Active Sync to
Who is invited to the Apple & Exchange Party?
1. Your iPhone
2. Corporate Email Server
Why so few? Read below. You now have lots of optional paths for your
email to get to your iPhone.
Corporate Internet Connection
This is required for email delivery outside your corporate wireless
network. However with the iPhone you have the option of using a secure
wireless network to deliver email rather than depend on other's to
carry the traffic for you.
Corporate Wireless Network
See Above. You can always use your Carrier's network for internet
access, however with WiFi as part of the iPhone and the unnecessary
steps to communicate through a carrier and to a 3rd party (RIM) via an
additional licensed server (BES) you can always get access to drectly
to your Exchange Server.
Corporate Phone Carrier
When you purchase the iPhone you would need data service, since you
likely plan on carrying the device for remote email access. This would
be required. AT&T would charge you at a minimum $45 a month for
unlimited data and 200 SMS messages. You can pat $55 for unlimited
data and 1500 SMS or $65 for unlimited data and SMS. However other
than the device, the only additional changes (those that would be
required other than your email server costs) would be these costs.
There is no need to run a second server (BES), pay a per device
license (included with the Exchange CAL) and support a third party
server that does not function unless RIM's has its servers up as
Any Wireless Network
Since iPhone supports a wide variety of VPN connections as well as
ActiveSync's encrypted email connection you can use almost any
internet hotspot from anyplace in the world.
Understanding how RIM communicates to corporate email
Understanding how RIM communicates to corporate email is key to
understanding clearly how the new combination of the iPhone and
Microsoft Exchange saves you time, money and a lot of headache.
RIM's "claim to fame" is the ability to push email between your email
server and each RIM device. This is done by using a dedicated server
in your Data Center that intercepts email sent to your mail server.
This dedicated server (BES) then passes this email to a RIM server
(located at RIM HQ) and then RIM passes the email via the cellular
network to the RIM device. The process is as complex as it sounds. It
is also prone to failure at many locations (not including the 100's of
possible failures points along the internet path where this can take
When RIM first developed this technology it was beyond what many could
expect, or had imagined. However the core process has see little
change in the years since it has been developed, which is why RIM is
stuck with aging technology and new vendors like Apple are able to
threaten the RIM stronghold on enterprise email devices.
If you have not figured it out, the RIM device you have in your pocket
is 100% dependant on RIM's existence and there servers being up,
connected to the internet and the carriers network with out
interruption to bring you the service that you expect.
If Apple, and Microsoft close up shop 10 minutes after you purchase,
install, deploy and train your users on the iPhone and Exchange server
combination, you will still have email to your phone. RIM devices
would cease to function because they are 100% dependant on RIM
Corporate to pass all your email through the BES server to there
servers and then to you device.
When you add the advanced interface of the iPhone and Apple's
willingness to add new features and functionality at no additional
cost (iPhone updates to date including new features total 4 so far...)
to the iPhone customer verse RIM's insistence on purchasing a new
device every time they add something new.
Future expansion with the iPod Touch
You have to also consider the iPod Touch. While the device is
currently being marketed as a n iPod to consumers this will in the end
be a WiFi only device that provides the same features as the iPhone
less the phone network connectivity.
If you are worried about iPhone security, you can remote wipe devices
just like you can a Blackberry, however this extends beyond
connectivity to just the carrier network since this feature is also
available when a device is connected to WiFi.
Keep in mind this is only a discussion of the Email connectivity
between the iPhone and Exchange. I don't want to make RIM feel too bad
be comparing web browsing and the ever growing feature list of the
Enterprise features in iPhone 2.0 software beta.
Upcoming iPhone support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and industry-
standard corporate security standards will allow IT professionals to
seamlessly integrate iPhone into their enterprise environments. New
* Push email
* Push contacts
* Push calendar
* Global Address List
* Certificates and Identities
* Enforced security policies
* More VPN protocols
* Device configuration
* Remote wipe
Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support.
If your office uses Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or 2007, iPhone 2.0
software will allow you to wirelessly push company email, calendar
events, and contacts over Wi-Fi or EDGE networks to iPhones. With
secure push email and over-the-air contacts and calendar features,
users will stay up to date wherever they go. And thanks to the iPhone
Multi-Touch display, users will find it easier to perform common tasks
such as accepting meeting invitations and finding contacts in the
company directory or Global Address List (GAL).
IT administrators can securely manage any iPhone that contains
confidential company information with remote wipe and enforced
security and password policies. These device configuration and remote
management capabilities allow IT departments to quickly and seamlessly
deploy iPhone throughout their companies.
iPhone 2.0 software supports Cisco IPsec VPN to ensure the highest
level of IP-based encryption for transmission of sensitive company
information. Employees will be able to authenticate via password, two-
factor token, or digital certificate. iPhone will also support WPA2
Enterprise with 802.1x authentication -- the standard for Wi-Fi network
protection. These features help provide safe access to sensitive
company information on iPhone.