If iPhone development was complete, the Apple Store wouldn't have

When you go to the Apple store, do you see an IBM cash register? No, you see store employees using iPod Touchs to do everything.

When you go to the Apple store, do you see a PC at the back for use by the manager? No, all the business machines are Macs.

When you go to the Apple store, do you see PBX business phones? Yes -- you see a store employee talking on an Avaya PBX phone. He's telling a customer about the iPhone.

So then: Why isn't Apple eating its own dogfood? Why are they selling a phone, but not using it themselves?

  • The PBX business phones are coupled to the location, but iPhones are coupled to individuals. Answer 1: Use a SIP client on the iPhone to connect to the phone system. Employees would carry an own iPhone that can only REGISTER to the local SIP system when it's in the store. Answer 2: Use an AT&T Femtocell, and add some call routing to the Femtocell. When an employees phone is within the store (and within range of the Femtocell), that phone receives business phone calls.
  • The iPhone doesn't have the call control features a store would want; e.g., to put a call back on hold, or to transfer calls to another desk in the store. Answer 1: Provide a custom call control interface for managing calls after their received. This would require calls route through an Application Server (such as BroadWorks or Metaswitch) that has some external call-control interface. Answer 2: Use Centrex features from the AT&T telephone switch.