Is the iPhone the new Black(berry)?

Here's an interesting one: we will soon all be Cupertino-loving black turle-neck fashionistas whilst going on about our cold-nosed business. This is at least what this article ponders (following Apple's announcement to add "business features"; could it really get push-e-mail?) .

The article has some interesting facts to offer: user satisfaction for Apple's iPhone is dramatically better than for anyone else (a distant first at 59% "very satisfied" users). And, somewhat noteworthy, the Blackberry had a drop of 8% in "very satisfied" users (47%) according to a recent survey -- the first decline in its history. Nokia follows with 40% with the others behind.

Apple has only 5% of the smartphone market but, given it is only out on one carrier per country and only launched some 9 months ago, that is rather honourable. And user satisfaction is absolute key to business phones though: price is, for corporate IT buyers, less an issue than for the consumer. And no IT manager thrives on the thought of a mad manager breathing down their necks over an IT or phone glitch. So user satisfaction might in fact be an important lever to push it higher in the business smartphone sector, which is a sweet one with very high ARPU. The article concludes that there is "anecdotal evidence that Apple's market share is growing. FTN Midwest analyst Bill Fearnley Jr. said that according to his checks, iPhone sales were helped in February by the introduction of a corporate iPhone plan that allows AT&T to bill employers directly."

So an interesting battle at hand. It is also interesting (and may send shivers down open-source spines) as the two leaders in user satisfaction both run on rather contained software ecosystems. But it does show that it helps when things indeed work (comparatively) seamlessly and painlessly on a device.

I am yearning to see Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel in black turtlenecks wielding an iPhone (Sarko and Obama [do I even need a link for him?] are a given of course). Oh brave new world...