Apple (AAPL) iPhone Goes Corporate, Part 4: Hedge Funds

Once ridiculed as a plaything for fanboys, the iPhone is beginning to break into the corporate market. Anecdote1 : New York business dinner with 15% penetration.  Anecdote 2: a CEO who can’t stop fondling his unit. Anecdote 3: SAP sales force demands iPhones. Anecdote 4: Our intrepid hedge-fund correspondent is so in love she carries two phones and sees more and more at investor conferences. We asked for details. She provided them:

Why iLove My iPhone (and Still Keep BlackBerry on Side)

When the iPhone was released, I was one of those sick souls who waited in line for it. I didn’t care that it wouldn’t play well with Outlook. This was not an effort to replace my work-issued CrackBerry, which I still brandish. I lusted for that glossy sleekness, changeability, the iPhone’s response to the flutter of my finger.

These days, though, I see more and more iPhones cropping up in work circles (29% of my office uses one)…

When I glance across the seas of investors at conferences, I spy other folks who have gone thumbs-free, more and more with each passing month. We’re a happy bunch. We nod at each other smugly. Our iPhones say with confidence what we cannot utter aloud: “I’m with it, I have a few hundred bucks to blow, and I don’t need my IT department’s blessing.”

From the first sync I have loved my iPhone. I rely on it heavily when I am on the road. As a phone, it is no clunkier or harder to use than my BlackBerry. Unlike the BlackBerry, however, my iPhone makes on-the-fly fact checking on the Internet enjoyable and legible, even on the glacial Edge network. I not only can peruse  stock quotes, but I also can command daily, weekly, monthly charts with a tap, tap, tap—a feat my vintage BlackBerry model cannot support. (Plus, even five months after its release, the iPhone is a total guy magnet. Men talk to me everywhere about my phone. Never have men in bars or airports asked me how I liked my BlackBerry, let alone asked if they can touch it.)

It’s not that my beloved gadget doesn’t have quirks: I have accidentally muted conference calls with my cheek. Embarrassing typos are common, especially when I try to email from moving vehicles (not me driving, promise!). Also, I have discovered the iPhone is hard to answer in winter weather, since I cannot make the touch screen respond to gloved or frigid fingers. As the cold temperatures have set in on the east coast, I’ve resorted to answering and hanging up calls with the tip of my nose. Better that than get caught licking my phone (not that I didn’t consider that option)!

So why if I love my iPhone so don’t I leave my BlackBerry behind? BlackBerry still reigns for reading and responding to the bazillion work emails I get a day, mostly because I can’t get work emails on my iPhone until it supports Outlook. When that day comes, though, I plan to consolidate.

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