SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

iPhones Not Used For Work? Balooney!

Posted by Bob Warfield on April 28, 2009

Sometimes folks struggle too hard to extract a headline from data when they should be trying to extract some new meaning.  So it is with Compete’s recent proclamation that the iPhone is not used for work.  Nothing could be more silly, as anyone that owns an iPhone will happily tell you.

The root of the problem is a simple one:  if you own one of the “other” SmartPhones, it isn’t good for anything but work.  In fact, it isn’t even that good for work.  It’s good for email and that’s about it.

The iPhone, by contrast, is a universal handheld web browser that can be augmented with zillions of apps.  Yes, I can and do check my email.  Yes, I can and do check Twitter.  Yes, I can and do read blog posts via the mobile edition of Google Reader.  Yes, I can and do make phone calls as well.  Yes, I take pictures.  In fact I often take pictures of white boards at work that we’ve just finished scrawling our key strategic plans and architectures on.  Yes, I use the maps function coupled with the web browser (so I can double check the address) to make sure I’m in the right place for a meeting.  Trust me, I have been to some unlikely locations, only to have my iPhone tell me I need to walk 15 feet further down the street.  I did so, peered in the window, and saw the sign for the business I was looking for just around a corner.  No evidence of it on the street.  Thank you iPhone!  And yes, I look up all sorts of things in meetings by Googling on my iPhone.  This makes me much more productive in those meetings.

Do I use my iPhone for work?  Absolutely!  I use it more than I ever did the gaggle of Blackberries and Treos that sit in a drawer at home unused.  To say otherwise is just Compete busy linkbaiting to get ink for their service.

Does that mean I don’t use it for personal time?  Absolutely not!

The iPhone will change your life, at least the telephonic part of it.  Towards the end of last year my family drove down to San Diego to pick up our new Schnauzer puppy, Butch.  My iPhone was with us all along the way.  It helped us to find great places to eat, and it entertained the kids.  I upgraded to a 3G about four months ago, and my 15 year old son inherited my old but still working perfectly 1st gen iPhone.  He is never without it and is constantly showing me fun things to do on iPhones that I will never find the time to track down.

If asked, do I use my iPhone more for personal than work use?  Like Techcrunch writer Robin Wauters, I would probably fess up that I do, but only because I do everything I can on my iPhone.  The other phones are stuck in Web 0.5 (not even 1.0, let alone 2.0) land. 

Is it any wonder that Tim Cook says Apple doesn’t need a netbook because they suck?  Apple already has netbooks in a far more convenient form factor.  If you’re going to lug a laptop, make sure it does a whole lot more.

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