AT&T to Target iPhone to Business Customers?

Macworld reports that AT&T (formerly Cingular) plans on marketing Apple's upcoming iPhone to business users.

Cingular, which was acquired by AT&T, recently decided that the iPhone will appeal to business users and the operator is now working hard to ensure that its backend enterprise billing and support systems will accommodate the device when it ships, said a source familiar with the companys plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The news comes in the wake of comments by a Microsoft executive that the iPhone would "irrelevant to business users" due to a lack of 3rd party support:

"[The iPhone is] a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there's no support for Office documents. If you're an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it's just not an option. Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge," the executive added.

Analysts appear to agree and feel that it would be a mistake for AT&T to market it specifically to business users who may depend on these 3rd party applications as well as ongoing concerns about battery life and the non-removable battery.

Apple stated early on that they will be limiting 3rd party development on the Apple iPhone. While additional applications may become available, they will be in a "controlled environment".

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