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Unisys confirmed last week that it reached an agreement Apple to help integrate and support its consumer products, including the iPhone and iPad, into enterprise systems for corporate and government customers.
The deal, first reported by Bloomberg News, is the latest example of third parties stepping up to make Apple's popular consumer-focused devices more manageable by the enterprise. Under the agreement, Unisys will offer its government and business customers iPhone/iPad integration services and build applications for Apple's devices tailored to the needs of governmental agencies. Unisys has already created a remote border-monitoring smartphone app for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
People in IT can debate the merits and disadvantages of using Apple's technology in the Enterprise, but there is little debate about the company's explosive growth in the consumer market. How did Apple become so successful? You certainly need to credit the vision of Steve Jobs, the company's understanding of what consumers want and their ability to be innovative, but there's another ingredient that a former employee cites and that's its management style.
Sachin Agarwal, a former Apple engineer who worked at the company for six years before leaving to start the blogging platform Posterous in 2008, credits the company with teaching him valuable management skills. Here are the eight key lessons this young CEO learned from the iEverything company:
For the fourth consecutive time Apple ranked highest in customer satisfaction among smartphone makers, taking the top spot in J.D. Power and Associates' semi-annual survey, albeit with a tighter margin over Android smarphone makers Motorola and HTC.
Apple scored 800 out of 1,000 possible points, down slightly from past scores but still ahead of its closest rivals, Motorola which scored 791 and HTC with and 781, both of which make smartphones based on Google's Android operating system. Smartphone makers that scored below the industry average of 764 included BlackBerry maker Research in Motion with 737, Samsung at 735, Palm with 726, and beleaguered Nokia bringing up the rear with 711.
Facebook moved quickly to quash reports over the weekend that it was secretly building its own mobile phone to blunt the increasing power of the iPhone and Android platforms. But the fuss appears to be a largely semantic one. Facebook is clearly trying to weave the popular social network into the fabric of mobile society. And in doing so it appears headed straight into the ongoing battle for mobile supremacy currently raging among Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft and others.
Attempting to refute the report on gadget website TechCrunch that Facebook is “building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware,” Facebook spokeswoman Jaime Schopflin told the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog that the company is simply working on "deep integration" intended "to make all phones and apps more social.”
If you're keeping score, Apple's iPad may soon be competing against high-profile tablets from HTC, Cisco, Research In Motion and Motorola -- and at least one HP device. But almost half a year has passed since the iPad hit the market and we still don't have a firm date for any of these devices. Now, Samsung could be ready to offer just that, as the manufacturer has put up a flashy video promising to introduce a 7-inch Google Android tablet at a Sept. 2 event in Berlin.
Until now the device, dubbed the Galaxy Tab, has been the subject of a number of rumors (as has basically every other potential device out there). And admittedly, the video doesn't offer much in the way of details. It will run on the 2.2 version of Android -- or Froyo -- and allows for video calling, e-reading and HD movie playback, and it will offer support for Flash.
Rumors that Apple is ready to end its exclusive contract with AT&T by bringing the iPhone to a rival carrier are nearly as old as the smartphone itself. As AT&T customers have grown more and more annoyed with the dubious performance of the carrier's network, the rumors have gotten louder. When a move finally becomes more than rumor, the fallout will be huge, says a new survey.
At the end of June, Bloomberg reported that Verizon Wireless will begin offering the iPhone in January. The article was -- reasonably enough -- viewed with suspicion because: a) we've heard this story more than once; b) the sources were the super-vague "two people familiar with" Apple's plans; and c) to run on the Verizon network, Apple would need to develop a CDMA iPhone, which is a touch more work than simply offering the same GSM model through T-Mobile -- which has also been repeatedly rumored.
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