Apple

IT departments: Prepare for onslaught of new iPhone users

With multiple reports saying Apple will hold its annual iPhone event on Tuesday, September 9, IT departments need to prepare for the onslaught of new iPhone users.

iOS devices

Multiple reports from credible media outlets say the next iPhone, likely called the iPhone 6, will debut on September 9, and a worldwide launch — if Apple's trend from the past few years continues — on September 19th.

iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's iPhone and iPad operating system, will likely release to the public in the middle of that week, just days ahead of the new iPhone's on-sale date.

Re/code, which has proven extremely reliable in the past, broke the news first, with The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg piling on later in the day.

Last year, Apple sold more than 9 million iPhones on the first weekend of availability for the iPhone 5s and 5c, and that number will likely be easily exceeded by the iPhone 6. The new phone is expected to be available in larger screen sizes — in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions, which is significantly larger than the iPhone 5s' 4-inch screen.

Corporate IT departments, both at companies with BYOD policies and with company-supplied smartphones, should be aware of these dates when planning staff scheduling and rollouts of new initiatives. It's likely that current iPhone users, plus some current BlackBerry and Android users, will be interested in switching to the new device, and they'll need assistance procuring, setting up, and operating the new iPhones.

The hardcore purchasers may line up at local Apple Retail and carrier-owned stores — it is iPhone tradition after all — and look to set up phones immediately, while the more patient can wait for orders to be shipped or buy from stores later on. Either way, there will be a lot of iPhones bought that weekend.

As I mentioned earlier, if Apple acts as it has for the past several years, the new iOS 8 will be released before the iPhone 6 is available. However, it's possible — and even likely — that some apps, especially in-house apps developed by corporations for their internal use, won't work with iOS 8. Thus, IT departments should take pains to utilize Apple's iOS 8 beta testing process for developers and issue appropriate guidelines to employees as to whether they can and should upgrade their iPhones and iPads to iOS 8.

With a month to go before the launch, Apple, which just released Beta 5 of iOS 8 to developers, may make significant changes to the new operating system. Developers and IT workers should test mission critical applications to ensure that they work with iOS 8. If the apps don't work, they have the next four weeks to rectify any issues that crop up.

One thing's for sure, September will be very busy for anyone involved in iPhone and iPad development and deployment.

Is your company ready for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6? Let us know about your preparedness in the comments below.

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About Jordan Golson

Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.

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