The iPhone is All the Rage — But Is It a Good Tool for Attorneys?

I searched on iPhone in my inbox. A total of 29 emails popped up, representing over eight percent of my inbox content. This is an indication of the extensive buzz on TV, radio, print, and the Blogosphere about this product. On a recent walkabout in a high-end mall, the telecom store was packed with people lined up to see the iPhone in person, and for most, to make a purchase. This product is certainly a tremendous marketing success. But is it technology which will actually be of use to lawyers?

The first item which jumps to the forefront of my consideration is the article in C-Net News entitled “Gartner: Businesses Should be Wary of iPhone,” which indicates that the iPhone does not contain the necessary functionality to comply with basic corporate security. Gartner lists eight reasons for businesses to steer clear of the iPhone for now. First and foremost is the fact that right now there is a total lack of support from major mobile device management suites and mobile-security suites.

PC Magazine does a thorough review of the iPhone. Although they give it an overall very good rating, they also note on the negative side that there is poor business e-mail and PIM connectivity, as well as bad audio quality on phone calls. They concluded that the Apple iPhone was the ultimate iPod, but a rather shoddy phone.

Thus far there aren’t many Bluetooth headsets which will work with the iPhone. You can check out Gearlog‘s listing here. They will no doubt keep testing and updating the list of compatible gear.

My conclusion? I don’t think that the iPhone is a tool for attorney business use right now. That may change in the future if the phone functionality is improved, and particularly if third-party support increases and security issues are addressed.

In case you’re still interested, there are some less pricey alternatives to look at. For example, check out the Sprint Muziq LX570, and the Helio Ocean. Or better yet, check out the PC Magazine article on how to give your existing phone iPhone capabilities with software add-ons.

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