Since Apple’s iPhone launched last June, one of its biggest weaknesses has been its lousy/non-existent support for corporate email. That should change soon: Steve Jobs has earmarked March 6 to lay out the iPhone “software roadmap,” including “exciting new enterprise features.”
In a note today, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu outlines what Apple might do to make the iPhone a solid business-email gadget. Specifically, his “industry and developer sources” indicate that Apple will improve its ability to work with Microsoft’s (MSFT) Exchange email server and IBM’s (IBM) Lotus Notes, the top enterprise email platforms.
How will Apple make it happen? Most likely, the company has developed its own hooks into those platforms, Wu says. Or Apple could have licensed email software from a third party, like Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology — less likely. Possible but least likely: licensing Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry Connect software.
“We do not think it will be easy to replicate the robustness of BlackBerry push e-mail, but nonetheless, we view improvements as positive,” Wu says.
Not just positive, but mandatory: If Apple (AAPL) wants to sell 10 million iPhones this year, cracking the enterprise market is key.
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