Apple's app store thinks small

With a new ad campaign and business-oriented downloads, the iPhone maker targets company owners and entrepreneurs.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Mina Kimes, reporter

bswonetz_miller.03.jpg

(Fortune Magazine) -- In the battle for corporate customers, BlackBerry reigns supreme. But will the iPhone become the mobile device of choice for small businesses?

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) is pursuing entrepreneurs aggressively with a new ad campaign featuring a menu of iPhone applications for running tiny enterprises. All told, more than 1,600 business apps are now available for the device, including software from FedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) and accounting site Mint.com. The most popular business app turns the phone into a voice recorder.

The availability of such a wide variety of small-business-oriented apps prompted Jason Miller, owner of San Diego construction and design company Wise Man, to switch his firm to iPhones from BlackBerrys about eight months ago.

His managers travel among construction sites, and they use an iPhone app called Air Sharing to trade blueprints and time-tracking software TSheets to monitor workers' hours. The GasBag app helps the team find the lowest fuel prices in San Diego County. Miller, who says he has spent about $100 on iPhone software, personally does about 30% of his "computing" on the iPhone, the rest on an office desktop.

Indeed, while the iPhone is a great tool, even heavy users say they can't quite run an entire business on it.

"I use my iPhone to react to information, but not for active tasks," says Rohin Dhar, owner of Personforce, a creator of online job boards. "Typing on it is really hard."  To top of page

Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.20 -0.13 -0.80%
Apple Inc 102.13 1.24 1.23%
Facebook Inc 74.63 -1.33 -1.75%
Yahoo! Inc 38.18 0.39 1.03%
Pfizer Inc 29.49 0.28 0.96%
Data as of Aug 27
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,122.01 15.31 0.09%
Nasdaq 4,569.62 -1.02 -0.02%
S&P 500 2,000.12 0.10 0.00%
Treasuries 2.36 -0.03 -1.25%
Data as of 1:23am ET
More Galleries
'My biggest retirement mistake' Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from. What they would do differently if they had another chance. More
Inside a $60,000 vacation of a lifetime Private jet tours around the world are growing in popularity, with a number of companies cropping up to take travelers on luxe, bucket-list trips. Here's a look at one 17-day journey, run by TCS Expeditions, that will take 78 people to some of the most lusted-over destinations. The price: $60,000 per couple. More
Don't want a bigger iPhone? Here are 6 alternatives Apple's next-generation iPhones are set to be the largest ever. But for those of us who don't want to give up any more space in our pockets, here are a few smaller options. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.