Gartner Says iPhone Now OK for Biz; BlackBerry and Window Mobile Mess SelvesS

Today Gartner reversed its opinion on the iPhone: Before, it said the iPhone wasn't business-friendly, but today, the firm grants it "appliance-level" status, meaning that with the upcoming enterprise-friendly iPhone 2.0 update, it'll officially be safe enough—and functional enough—for hardcore suit-wearers.

We journalists tend to think of Gartner as a good place for stats and opinions, but IT honchos look to the company for guidance on how to spend their multimillion-dollar budgets. In this case, Gartner explains its decision in terms that IT buyers will appreciate:

"Appliance-level" status permits the iPhone to be used for PIM, e-mail, telephony and browsing applications. It also permits the device to be used for other dedicated functions where the software is supplied by a third party, functionality is kept to a restricted set, the software supplier offers support for a backup platform and IT development resources are not needed to program custom code locally residing on the device.

But this here's the deathblow, dealt by Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Ken Dulaney:

"The iPhone will thus match up initially in several segments against its main smartphone competitors—BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60."

[Gartner]