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Thu 20 Mar 2008 12:00 PM

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iPhone gets down to business following security update

Gartner Inc. decide that Apple's device is, with the release of firmware 2.0, sufficiently secure for the business world

Gartner Inc. today announced that following Apple’s release of firmware 2.0 for the iPhone the device now qualifies for “appliance level” support status, putting it alongside Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 devices.

Appliance level status permits the phone to be used for e-mail, phone calls, web browsing and personal information management (PIM), and allows third party software to be used.

Appliance level status also means Gartner now feel the phone is secure enough to be used within the business world. The new firmware addresses the security issues which Gartner analysts had previously “expressed concern” about.

Ken Dulaney, vice president and analyst at Gartner, said: “By licensing Exchange ActiveSync and exposing its basic security policies, organisations can provide sufficient security for iPhone during Exchange PIM and e-mail use. This will open up a huge market for the iPhone, which previously had been stymied by a lack of basic business security and application functionality. However, Apple must widen distribution and of course deliver what it has promised.”

This development may help Apple to improve their overall PC market share. As iPhones become more common in the business world, some companies may be coaxed into improve functionality by switching to other Apple products.

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