1. Better MultitaskingMultitasking is central to the success or failure of any mobile platform for enterprise customers. And that’s precisely why Apple should do its best to improve its multitasking. Of course, that’s not to say that it doesn’t work well now — it does — but there should be an easier way to quickly switch between apps. And as current iPhone owners know, managing open apps can be troublesome at times. Simply put, an improved multitasking option would be nice to see in upcoming versions of iOS.
2. VerizonThe iPhone requires ubiquity. And for now, at least in the United States, it doesn’t have it. That’s an issue for enterprise customers. They want to be able to choose the carrier that they will run their iPhones on. So far, they can’t do that. And until Verizon joins the iPhone carrier fray, the enterprise won’t be as happy as it could be.
3. More ControlsApple was smart to add administrative control to iOS in past updates. But it needs to go further. RIM’s BlackBerry delivers the kind of administrative control that companies expect in smartphones nowadays. And that won’t change anytime soon. Until Apple can add that much control over its platform for enterprise customers, the iPhone just might not be the best option for companies.
4. A Real Antenna FixThe iPhone 4’s antenna is a problem. And it’s something that Apple desperately needs to figure out. When the iPhone 4 antenna complaints started, some companies wondered if the device was for them. Although those complaints have largely died down, thanks to Apple’s iPhone 4 case program, the antenna woes are still present. And the enterprise knows that. If Apple wants to be more corporate-friendly, it might find a solution sooner rather than later.
5. More Business AppsApple’s App Store is central to the success of the iPhone. But companies want more enterprise-friendly applications to ensure they’re getting the most value for their cash when they start deploying Apple’s smartphone in their operations. Simply put, the more business apps available to companies, the happier the enterprise will be.
6. Some Reassurance From AppleSpeculation abounds over whether or not Apple is an enterprise-focused firm. On one hand, Apple has delivered more enterprise-friendly features to its devices. But it’s still doing its part to appeal to consumers far more than enterprise customers. And companies know that. In order for the iPhone to be more enterprise-friendly, Apple will have to reassure firms that it really does care about the corporate world.
7. Better MailWith the launch of iOS 4, Apple made significant strides in making its mobile Mail application far more viable. But the company needs to go further. A key component in the success of the BlackBerry is its Mail application. Many companies believe RIM’s offering is tops. If Apple can come closer to matching the BlackBerry model, it can go a long way in becoming more enterprise-friendly.
8. RIM’s FocusAs noted, Apple needs to reassure the enterprise that it really does care about it. But it needs to go one further. The company should also find a way to double down on RIM’s laser-like focus on the enterprise. RIM gets companies, and it knows what they want from their smartphones. If Apple can follow RIM’s lead, it can do a better job of appealing to companies.
9. A Removable BatteryOne of the biggest complaints with the iPhone from enterprise customers is that it doesn’t feature a removable battery. If Apple wants to be more enterprise-friendly, the company should offer removable batteries in its iPhone. Of course, the chances of that happening seem awfully slim, since Apple has said it doesn’t want to deliver such an option. But if it wants to quickly appeal to companies, a removable battery is a good first step.
10. A Physical Keyboard?Unfortunately for enterprise customers, a physical keyboard will never make its way to the iPhone. Apple simply believes that its smartphone is forward-thinking, and offering a physical keyboard doesn’t fall in line with that. But Apple should also understand that the enterprise expects a physical keyboard, since it enhances productivity. It might not appeal to Steve Jobs’ aesthetic, but it’s a desired feature in corporate smartphones.