AT&T is now selling Apple's handset on its business Web site for customers as part of its Premier Enterprise program. A customer can purchase an 8-GB iPhone 3G for $199 and a 16-GB version for $299. Either handset will require a two-year contract. The store estimates delivery time will take seven to 10 business days.
With a major 2.0 upgrade this summer, Apple has made prominent steps to ensure that the latest iPhone is a capable device for the mobile professional. The iPhone 3G has secure push e-mail with Microsoft Exchange support, remote wiping, built-in VPN, as well as the ability to run enterprise apps from the likes of Oracle and Salesforce.com.
Gartner recently said the iPhone can be safely used for the enterprise. The research firm did advise businesses to slowly deploy the device though, as there were potential shortcomings with security and bandwidth.
One potential problem is the need to have iTunes installed on the desktop, Gartner said, because it could give the enterprise unwanted or malicious content.
"We recommend that Apple enhance this area long term to optionally eliminate iTunes (that is, as a desktop application) as a necessary component to access business applications and manage the device," Gartner said.
If you're still in the dark about implementing an iPhone in your mobile workforce, InformationWeek recently published a report titled "6 Top Technologies For Remote Office Support ... And 2 To Avoid." You can download the report here (registration required).
This move to sell the iPhone 3G online is the latest to make the popular touch-screen smartphone more accessible. Earlier this week, Best Buy and Apple announced an agreement to sell the iPhone 3G across the United States in Best Buy's 970 stores starting Sept. 7.