After months of speculation, Apple has finally revealed two new iPhones - the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Both come equipped with various new features Apple personnel espoused the virtues of during the launch, including a 64-bit microprocessor in the iPhone 5S, making it the first ever 64-bit smartphone.
Alongside the iPhone 5S and iPhone5C Apple also formally launched the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, built to take advantage of the new microprocessor.
The message is clear: Apple is promoting iOS 7 as "the most significant update since the original iPhone," and touting it as an enterprise business tool for organisations of all sizes.
Available as a free download from 18 September, and intended for a number of different iPhone and iPad models, Apple claims that iOS 7 "provides enhanced security, powerful new ways to configure and deploy devices at scale, and features to help businesses purchase, distribute, and manage apps with ease".
Mobile device management (MDM) is key for IT departments taking care of staff using smartphones and with iOS 7 and Apple has put effort into making sure iPhone users have a robust MDM solution.
Indeed, iOS 7 includes a number of configuration options which Apple claims will make third-party MDM solutions more powerful, although MDM providers will be required to update their software for business users to gain the most benefit.
iOS 7 also offers enterprise users a more streamlined MDM enrolment process, with devices provided by the company able to be automatically enrolled in MDM when first activated. The idea is it allows IT departments to apply suitable corporate settings from the get go, with full supervision of devices.
However, there is a downside to this feature, in that it only applies to brand new iPhones, meaning that if staff are using their own device, their phones won't be able to be managed in this way, unless they set their iPhone back to factory settings - something nobody is likely to agree to! The ability to have done this for any device would have been rather useful.
Apple have also looked to make logging into and using corporate applications more efficient through the introduction of ‘enterprise single sign on.'
It enables users to use a variety of different applications without having to re-enter passwords, meaning each application doesn't have to be individually configured, making it less of a headache for the IT departments and users who need to manage iPhones.
With the increasing rise of mobile malware, security is an area Apple has concentrated on improving, boasting of "hardware and firmware features are designed to protect against malware and viruses".
It's a useful feature for any employee who has to regularly download apps or documents, adding a barrier against the possibility of losing valuable corporate data when using an iPhone. IT departments will, however, still need to ensure staff are aware of the security threats associated with using a mobile device and they're not downloading malware stuffed apps willy-nilly.