Blogger: Larry Cannell
The iPod Touch is an intriguing device. Imagine an iPhone minus the camera and cell phone (and also minus the expensive monthly cell phone service fees). But it has all the other goodness found in the iPhone:
- It’s an iPod (of course)
- WiFi networking
- Cool applications ranging from fun games to educational tools to the unusual. This is just the beginning, the SDK has been out less than a year.
The iPod Touch also ships with the Safari web browser and enterprise capabilities like support for virtual private networks (L2TP/IPSEC, Cisco IPSec, and PPTP) and connectivity to Exchange e-mail servers via ActiveSync (which can enforce corporate policies and remotely wipe data, details in the Enterprise Deployment Guide).
The iPod Touch is quickly becoming a bigger story than it’s older sibling, the iPhone. A report just released by AdMob provides details on how use of iPod Touch (as measured by requests coming from mobile devices in to their ad network) “exploded on December 25th.” Some highlights from the report:
- Traffic from iPod Touch in the US and UK was “2.7 and 3.2 times higher” the week after Christmas than the week before.
- “The iPod Touch is now the #2 device in the AdMob network with a 4.7% share.” The #1 device is the iPhone with a 10.8% share.
Two things enterprises need to consider about the iPod Touch:
- What does your website look like on an iPhone or iPod Touch? For some, this may not be a big deal. But, for enterprises serving a customer demographic which is now, or will soon be, using an iPhone or iPod Touch this is something you need to pay attention to. CIOs may already be receiving notes from other executives about their experiences with the iPod Touch over the holidays. The Safari web browser does a good job rendering just about any website. But sites that format content for mobile devices look much better. In our recently released report, “Web Content Management Systems: Managing Web Presence in a 2.0 World” we noted that web browsers on mobile devices are the fastest growing segment of the market. However, these comments were made from the perspective of a smartphone with 3G networking. The iPod Touch is accelerating this growth. WCM systems are essential for providing content formatted for both mobile devices and traditional desktop/laptop computers.
- At $230 for 8GB of flash storage and features like WiFi, VPN support, and Exchange ActiveSync the iPod Touch is shaping up to be a capable enterprise mobile device. Along with new or lower cost enterprise application opportunities, the iPod Touch will spark a renewed interest in connecting employee-purchased devices to corporate networks. The Burton Group report “Smartphones: Ready for the Enterprise?” offers sound recommendations for addressing this rapidly changing market. In addition, a recent blog post from Dan Blum provides some valuable insights into iTunes.
If nothing else, the iPod Touch is a low-cost option for research and development activities to learn about this emerging mobile platform. I may have to purchase one myself, in the interest of research of course :-)