Apple’s (AAPL) march to make the iPhone a viable alternative to the business-oriented RIM (RIMM) Blackberry and perhaps netbooks, which are posting surging sales, got a boost from software security companies. Symantec (SYMC) and McAfee (MFE) are developing applications which can be used on the fast-selling handset.
According to Reuters, “Symantec, the No. 1 software security maker, is looking at developing a backup service that would protect data on the iPhone and allow users to use the device to access information stored on their PCs or on the Web.”
If the iPhone is going to become an important and viable tool for business and government use its ability to scan for and keep viruses off its hardware will be critical. So will being able to secure sensitive data files and e-mail communications. Protecting access to voice mail files could also become important which would allow people to leave confidential messages in the iPhone’s voice recording.
The growth of netbook sales has been nothing short of astonishing. Their success could hurt the prospects of some smartphones. As laptop replacements they are already compressing margins in the PC and chip markets. A netbook processor is less expensive than those used on laptops and are less profitable than more powerful chips.
If Apple can get market share from the netbook sector, the iPhone’s growth may even accelerate.
Douglas A. McIntyre