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Deutsche Bank analyst says 'no going back' to Blackberry after iPhone trial

25 January 2011  |  27215 views  |  5 iphone apps on screen

A Deutsche Bank research analyst has dealt a blow to BlackBerry, declaring an interal pilot trial using Apple's iPhone for corporate e-mail has been "overwhelmingly positive" and insisting there is "no going back".

Deutsche Bank Equity Research's Chris Whitmore says the firm has been running a two month trial of iPhones in conjunction with California-based software maker Good Technology's secure e-mail application.

The e-mail is served using Microsoft exchange through a Good Technologies interface which looks and feels like accessing a Gmail account on the iPhone, says Whitmore in a note.

The result "was a fantastic experience as it was easier/faster to access data (touch UI) than on the Blackberry. It was also great to only have to carry one device for personal and corporate email access."

The note does highlight the iPhone's inability to download e-mails in the background, meaning users have to open the app to check for new messages. Another criticism centres on the lack of a blinking light to indicate the arrival of a new message.

However, the positives "far outweigh these issues" and "after testing corporate email on iPhone for the past few months, there is no going back. We expect a lot of users will feel the same way when iPhones are offered at their workplaces," said Whitmore who predicts his own firm's trials will "translate into large deployments".

The Deutsche Bank experiment is the latest in a long line of iPhone (and Android) trials at major banks, with Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Standard Chartered and UBS all exploring the BlackBerry rivals.

Comments: (5)

Elizabeth Lumley
Elizabeth Lumley - Rainmaking Innovation - London | 26 January, 2011, 11:31

I wonder how iPhones will manage when new regulation comes in requiring banks to record all mobile conversations. Can iPhones run two apps at once? (I heard they can't) Or will iPhone-loving banks have to ban all business transaction conversation on the mobile? 

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 26 January, 2011, 15:18

"Push email" - or the ability to receive emails in the background without needing a log on to the email application - is the hallmark of BlackBerry and probably contributed to its success. At the same time, it made it addictive ("CrackBerry"), wrecked business meetings and sowed the seeds of many a marital discord.

Deutsche Bank's move makes me wonder if companies and their employees are signaling a strong urge to restore work-life balance by choosing a platform like iPhone that lacks push email. 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 26 January, 2011, 15:25

in regards to the lack of Push email - this is down to the deployment of a sand boxed App on the iPhone rather than using the native email client on the phone. The iPhone does in fact have push email capability when linked directly to the exchange servers. Its a case of weighing up the security - the Sand boxed App approach stores no data locally but you don't get push; direct exchange connection potentially leaves sensitive information on the device.

As outlined in my blog post, this is a trial of connectivity to potentially numerous devices rather than a trial of integrated iPhones in the enterprise. 

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Elizabeth Lumley
Elizabeth Lumley - Rainmaking Innovation - London | 26 January, 2011, 16:23

Could a Citrix-type enterprise cloud solve the enterprise control issues with the iPhone? 

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Siddharth Udani
Siddharth Udani - Consulting - London | 26 March, 2012, 12:22

have been hearing a lot on 'Customer Experience' and few interesting bits fesp from IPS2012, its a no surprise that banks 'internal customers/employees' are considered for using thier mobiles. Most employees (esp in UK) would anyways have 2 handsets BB and an iphone, and may provoke them to have one instead. Though push mail is possible (I have used it), orgs cannot impose restrictions like mandatory lock/pwd on an iphone (no enterprise server!) which i am sure apple would come up soon controlling through iTunes Enterprise Server!

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