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Apple hints at enterprise future for iPhone

The vendor will discuss enterprise applications for the iPhone during an event on its campus today

Apple hinted that the iPhone might become more useful to business workers during a discussion hosted by Morgan Stanley on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow we’re going to talk a bit about the iPhone in the enterprise at our event on campus,” said Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer of Apple, via a webcast of the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference. “We believe the iPhone is great for all parts of the market, including the enterprise.”

Apple has scheduled an event on Thursday for developers, during which it will talk about the software road map of the iPhone, including details about the software development kit for the device and enterprise use, he said. The SDK will allow developers to create applications for the iPhone. Since Apple launched the iPhone last year, it has been closed to third-party developers.

In addition to opening up the iPhone to developers, he suggested that other changes may be on the horizon. While the company has created revenue-sharing agreements with operators so that Apple earns ongoing revenue as users pay for their mobile subscriptions, that model may not apply everywhere into the future, Oppenheimer said. “We’re off to a great start, but we’re learning and we’re not wedded to any one particular way to go to market,” he said. “Our objective is to drive scale and take market share.”

In the fourth quarter of 2007, more iPhones were sold than Windows Mobile devices in the U.S., according to recent research from Canalys. Among smartphones, only Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices sold more than iPhones in the U.S. during the quarter.