Yesterday Galan Graham reported the new iPhone update (3.1) was preventing him from connecting this his Exchange server.
If you're like me, you probably ran the iPhone OS 3.1 update late Friday along with all the other Mac OS X updates. And perhaps, like me, you found your device no longer syncing to your company's Exchange 2007 Server. I, for one, assumed something had changed on the back end. After all, a dot-one update is a bug fix, so there shouldn't have been anything major to watch out for. But I learned Monday it was the update itself that was to blame.
What Mr. Graham would go on to discover is that in version 3.0 the original iPhone and iPhone 3G falsely reported support for Hardware Encryption to the Exchange Server (neither device actually supports Hardware Encryption). Apple, without warning, fixed this bug which left all the iPhone and iPhone 3G customers out in the cold (the 3GS does in fact support hardware encryption so it still works).
Two things to note here…
1. The two older iPhones have been claiming to support encryption they actually don’t for the last 3 months. Therefore exposing user data (at least to a limited extent).
2. Apple then “fixed” this without warning which cut off all those users (again without warning) and gave them no way to reconnect (other than to convince their IT departments to lower the security requirements or downgrade their phone).
At first, I didn’t comment on this. I wanted to see how Apple would respond before I did. Today, courtesy of CNet’s Jim Dalrymple, that response came…
“iPhone OS 3.1 is working properly with Exchange Server 2007," Apple representative Natalie Harrison told CNET News. "We added device encryption information to the data that can be managed by IT administrators using Exchange Server 2007. The policy of whether to support iPhone 3G, in addition to iPhone 3GS, which always has on-device encryption, on Exchange Server 2007 is set by the administrator and can be changed at any time.”
So no apology, no admission of guilt and honestly no evident shame whatsoever.
This is why Apple will never be a trustworthy business partner. Business professionalism is all about taking the needs of your partners, vendors and customers into account and trying to act in a way that is the most beneficial for the entire supply chain. Because good businesses realize that harming any part of that equation will eventually come back and harm them.
Apple simply doesn’t seem to care. For consumers that have no real NEED from their computer I suppose that’s ok. But for companies that require their computers to get actual work done I can’t see trusting a company that acts in this way.
Addendum: Despite what the last couple posts might indicate I haven't turned "anti-Apple". I just realize their hubris limits them in some important areas and as their popularity grows I think it's important to point out what applications they shouldn't be trusted with.