iPhone Anecdote: Gaining Traction in NY Business Circle

We’re not claiming this is any sort of scientific Apple iPhone (AAPL) survey, so if you’re seeing something different, don’t shoot the messenger (Just tell us).  In any event…

Among a group of hard-core business executives who attended a small dinner in New York last night, the iPhone already had at least 15% penetration.  (In fact, I was openly ridiculed by one devotee for carrying a device that I thought business types still respected: the BlackBerry Curve.)  One of the iPhone users gave me a full (mind-blowing) demonstration, said that after a few weeks of practice he was now comfortable typing emails, and reported that hooking the device up to his corporate email had been a snap.

Importantly, the business users at the dinner had one thing in common: they worked for the same small company whose email system works with the iPhone.

SAI Apple analyst Dan Frommer tells me that, without cooperation from a company’s IT department, iPhones still can’t be connected to Microsoft Exchange.  Dan also noted a study earlier this week (excerpt after jump) that found that iPhone emailers make twice as many spelling errors as BlackBerry emailers (thus the conviction of many BlackBerry users that they will never switch to the iPhone).  Lastly, Dan noted that we haven’t yet seen corporations purchasing iPhones in bulk.

So, still a long ways to go.  But based on last night’s dinner, the iPhone appears to be making in-roads into some corners of the New York business market: Specifically, companies in which executives are free to choose their own phones.

See Also: Note From China: No iPhones Here for Years

Excerpt of iPhone Typing Study:

iPhone and Hard-Key QWERTY Texting Was Equally Rapid, but iPhone Owners Made More Errors

When compared to hard-key QWERTY phone owners using their personal phones, iPhone owners’ rate of text entry on the iPhone was equally rapid. However, iPhone owners made more errors during text entry and also left significantly more errors in the completed messages.

While iPhone owners made an average of 5.6 errors/message on their own phone, hard-key QWERTY owners made an average of 2.1 errors/message on their own phone, p < .01. iPhone owners also left an average of 2.6 errors/completed message created on the iPhone compared to an average of 0.8 errors/completed message left by hard-key QWERTY phone owners on their own phone.

Interestingly, when comparing the performance of iPhone owners and novices (non-iPhone owners), there was no significant difference between the number of errors made, p = .21. iPhone owners were faster than non-iPhone owners, of course.

“Despite the correction features available on the iPhone, this data suggests that people who have owned it for a month are still making about the same number of errors as the day they got it,” says Gavin Lew, Managing Director.

Furthermore, when iPhone owners were asked to perform a text correction task during their sessions, 21% of iPhone owners were not aware of the magnifying glass correction feature although they had owned their iPhone for one month. Participants who did know about the feature clearly loved it, and participants who were new to it indicated that it would be useful in the future.

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