iPhone Beginning to Penetrate Corporate Market (AAPL)

Last month, we wrote about a business dinner we attended with 15% iPhone penetration (and fanatical evangelism from the iPhone contingent). Last week, at another dinner, we sat next to a CEO who couldn’t stop fondling and praising his. Our intrepid hedge-fund correspondent carries two full phones and chargers just so she won’t have to go without the iPhone. And now Reuters reports that SAP is launching its next version of CRM software for the iPhone before Research in Motion (RIMM) and Palm, because SAP’s own salespeople demanded it…

As we’ve explained, there are two big hurdles to wholesale corporate iPhone adoption:

  1. Email: harder to type and less convenient than BlackBerry (because emails aren’t automatically pushed) and tough to use with Microsoft Exchange.
  2. No 3G.

The good news for Apple fans is that almost all of these issues can and will be addressed.  3G iPhones are coming next year. Apple can make it easier to interface with Microsoft Exchange by licensing some software from Microsoft.  And typing functionality can and probably will be improved.

All of which is to say: Only a few months after launch, with no upgrades or product improvements, the iPhone is already beginning to invade a market that most analysts initially assumed it would never penetrate. It’s doing this, moreover, not because of clever marketing, but because customers love the product so much that they can’t stop talking about it. So imagine what’s going to happen when Apple does start rolling out upgrades.

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