Let's face a few of facts:
- A lot of media outlets are going to publish articles designed to provoke FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) in the hearts of iPhone fans.
- This is going to continue and grow in intensity up to and beyond June 29.
- The motives for publishing this type of article are not all evil.
A great example of an article that spreads FUD but isn't entirely evil is the article called Companies Hang Up on Apple's iPhone published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal. This article claims that Apple is working to integrate the the iPhone into corporate email systems because IT management says that the iPhone isn't compatible with corporate email systems.
The truth of the matter is a bit different.
The Journal article pretty much says that the corporate email systems they are talking about are based on Microsoft Exchange. Exchange has the ability to support both IMAP and POP3 protocols, but support for these protocols was turned off by default in Windows 2003. Since a lot of people in corporate IT departments know little about non-Microsoft-centric infrastructures, many of them probably concluded that IMAP and POP3 are inherent security risks.
I sincerely doubt that Apple will make any attempt to integrate the iPhone by adding support for Good, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, or any other middleware that's been blessed by the CIOs of major companies. This is because the iPhone is aimed at individuals, not corporate users. Making the iPhone acceptable to many corporate IT groups would require too much variation in terms of the hardware configuration and the software feature set.
John Gruber from Daring Fireball wrote a great piece that makes many of these same points. His coverage on that website of the reaction to this Wall Street Journal article is well worth reading.
When you read articles like this one that appeared in The Wall Street Journal, consider the writer's perspective. The writers of this article are general business reporters that sometimes cover the technology industry. This article wasn't written by someone at the WSJ like Walter Mossberg who has a complete picture of technology products and how to use them productively. General business writers don't write about how to solve problems, they point out potential problems.
There are still a lot of questions about the iPhone's real world capabilities. The ability to seemlessly integrate with Microsoft Exchange isn't one of them. If all the other usability and performance issues that may limit the iPhone's usefulness turn out to be non-issues, working around the limitations of Exchange will be well documented because thousands of iPhone owners will develop workarounds for every conceivable Exchange configuration. [ Paid subscription required to read most articles in The Wall Street Journal. ]