Most of us just don’t know about all the extra apps Apple makes available for iPhone users of the enterprise persuasion. That’s right. Apple segregates iPhone users into two groups. Business users who developer their own apps for iPhone. And the rest of us.
For the latter, we can do pretty much whatever we want with our iPhones; from customizing the home screen, to jailbreaking the device to make it easy to install apps that Apple does not approve and that you won’t find on the iPhone App Store. What else? Think Big Brother.
Lockdown & MDM
Apple treats enterprise customers differently than you and I. They have tools which let them create and install their own applications, yes, but also tools which control the iPhone in a somewhat Big Brother methodology.
The so-called MDM platform for iOS– the enterprise mobile device management platform– gives enterprise IT groups controls over how the iPhone can be used. The latest version of iOS, iOS 9.3, which is due to hit the streets soon, is destined to have options to completely lock down the iPhone.
Sure. Why not? Corporations pay the price tag for iPhones for employees and executives so why not have controls which prevent access to specific apps and even control the home screen? It’s the Golden Rule. Them with the gold gets to rule. I’ve seen this in action on the beta of iOS 9.3 and I hate it. And love it. And hate it.
The layout of apps and folders can be controlled by Big Brother’s whims and needs. The configuration profile option can enforce a specific home screen layout of apps, black list and white list specific apps, and even force specific notification settings for apps, down to the point of blocking or controlling specific URLs which can be used in Safari.
Some of the changes coming to enterprise IT groups and education groups in iOS 9.3 are interesting because Apple makes money with every iPad sold, so why would the company open up the iPad to multi-user capability (which already exists in OS X for the Mac)? That would mean a single iPad could be used by students, teachers, departments, and employees.
This isn’t much of an issue here, but it is interesting that Apple is willing to fight the government to protect an iPhone user’s privacy and security, but offers tools to corporations and schools that actually secure the device from the user.
Granted, these features coming in iOS 9.3 are not for everyone, and merely represent a tiny minority of iPhone users, but even if 5 percent of users represent schools or enterprise IT groups, that could be tens of millions of users because Apple has around 1-billion active iOS users.
Now, while I’m speaking of iPhone features you may love or hate or love to hate, there’s iPhone 7 and iOS 10, due sometime in the fall. Based on street noise– and Apple’s trend toward Pro versions of hardware; like iPad Pro– I’m going to predict an iPhone 7 Pro. This will be the model with the best camera and other options exclusive only to iPhone 7 Pro. Why? Because Apple can. Because Apple’s customers don’t mind the world’s highest average selling price for smartphones. And because a hundred million people would prefer an iPhone camera that competes with mid-range DSLR’s.