Money Matters - Simplified

40 percent iPhone buyers are business customers

"Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users," revealed AT&T's chief executive of Business Solutions unit, Ron Spears.

While speaking with the press at the Barclays Capital Communications, Media and Technology conference earlier this week, AT&T’s (NYSE:T) chief executive of Business Solutions unit Ron Spears said that 40 percent of iPhone buyers since 2010 are business customers.

Describing the changing role of iPhones in business world today, Spears said, "Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users. When the iPhone came out, what most people heard in the first year from ‘07 to ‘08 was oh my God, it’s not BlackBerry secure. This is not going to work on the enterprise space.”

Ever since iPhone’s launch in 2007, the device was primarily advertised as a smartphone for personal use. But the trend seems to be changing, as per AT&T reports, mainly because Apple took the initiate to solve at least 80 percent of security issues businesses had with iPhone.

"So enterprises today view the iPhone as a mobile computer. It happens to have a voice application on it. But what’s important is what you can do with it, and the way you can mobilize workforces, and specific parts of your workforce, not the entire workforce," added Spears.

iPhone has changed AT&T
Spears also said that ever since they started selling iPhones, not only has it ensured steady flow of revenue but lots of things have changed within AT&T’s premises also.

Ever since iPhone’s launch in 2007, the device was primarily advertised as a smartphone for personal use. But the trend seems to be changing, as per AT&T reports, mainly because Apple took the initiate to solve at least 80 percent of security issues businesses had with iPhone.

"Most of our monthly reporting is all built into an app that gets updated when our systems get updated, and we do an automatic fetch. And any time I want to look at where we sort of sit from a financial point of view in ABS, it now resides on my iPhone as an app.

“So it starts to change the way you think about governing your business. It changes the speed with which you can make decisions," explained Spear.

However, he refused to divulge any information on how many devices company has sold since iPhone’s launch.

AT&T to increase smartphone’s early termination fee
Recently, AT&T announced that it is planning to hike the early termination fee for its smartphone customers from $175 to $325.

This new change in early termination fee will be effective from June 1, 2010.

AT&T added that customers who will renew their contract or will sign a new one will be subjected to the new contract terms of paying higher fee, though existing contracts will stay unaffected for now.

"The idea is, and we think that it's fair approach, that if you spend less on a device, your early termination fee should be less. If you spend more, your early termination fee should be more," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel.