Apple iPhone FAQ

Who/what is the iPhone suitable for?

The iPhone is being marketed as an all-in-one device capable of replacing your Blackberry or other smartphone.

Why is that?

With the iPhone 2.0 software, you will finally be able to get your Exchange email, as well as personal email from services such as Google and Yahoo. This new version of the iPhone software finally allows real time "push" for your Exchange email, calendar, and contacts. Once your Medical School email has been setup, the new software also allows Medical IT to remote wipe your phone if it is lost or stolen. (Note that iPhone software prior to version 2.0 does not provide these capabilities.)

What is good about the iPhone?

The iPhone offers an extremely elegant user interface, leveraged by a "multi-touch" screen that gets rid of the traditional push buttons. And, well, it's just pretty overall.

As you would expect for a device that is essentially an iPod with a phone add-on, it also manages an elegant integration of the functions of telephony and multimedia player; and it has excellent integration with iTunes, of course.

The iPhone can open Word and Excel documents and PDF format documents too.

Its web browser appears to be superior to those of Blackberries and other smartphones, with an ability to scroll and zoom that is unprecedented in a smartphone. Your mileage varies here, though: iPhone 2.0 hardware surfs the web at much faster 3G speeds where there is coverage. However, you can always enable the Wi-Fi connection on iPhone 1.0 for a speedier browsing experience.

The iPhone 2.0 hardware has a built in GPS radio, which allows you to use sites such as Google Maps for directions.

The iPhone 2.0 software includes the App Store, with access to hundreds of apps (some free, some for a small price) approved by Apple for use on the iPhone.

What are the drawbacks?

The touch-screen, which is critical to the entire apparatus, has been found to be cumbersome by most reviewers.

As with the iPod you can't replace the battery without voiding the warranty (it has to go back to the factory). When the battery no longer holds an adequate charge, you’ll have to pay Apple $79, plus $6.95 shipping. The repair process normally takes three business days, and you’ll be without a phone during that time.

You can't add memory capacity with a card and as a result there is limited space for media on the iPhone. Alternatively, standalone iPods now come in flavors of up to 160 gigabytes. If you want to carry around more than 16 gigabytes of a music collection, you may want to wait for an iPhone with more capacity.

Must the phone be used on the AT&T network?

Yes.  Apple's deal with AT&T is exclusive.  

What if I buy it and don't like it?

You'd better figure that out quickly.  AT&T usually has a 30-day return policy on phones, but the iPhone will be subject to the Apple's standard 14-day return limit.

Does Medical IT have demo or loaner models that I can try out?


What's your advice?

Apple fans are likely to be satisfied with nothing else.  Non-Apple fans probably cannot figure out why any sane person would pay so much for this particular smartphone, particularly one with a touchscreen instead of a real QWERTY keyboard.  As with the Apple vs. Windows computer question, rationality is only a small part of the equation.

Is the iPhone supported by Medical IT?

Once you have activated the iPhone through iTunes and you are making and receiving calls, we can set up your Medical School email account on the iPhone. Medical IT can troubleshoot issues with your email and remote wipe the phone once email has been setup. If you lose the device, you’ll need to contact the Help Desk to initiate the remote wipe.

If you are experiencing issues with call quality, the touch screen, or anything to do with the hardware, you need to inquire about support at the Apple store.

How does remote wiping work?
If you lose the device, you’ll need to contact the Help Desk to initiate the remote wipe. Once the wipe is initiated, the iPhone will lose all settings and saved media such as music, photos, and videos. If the phone is recovered, you must contact the Medical Information Technology. If you do not contact IT, the phone will re-wipe when an attempt is made to set up your Medical School email.

Can I set up my Medical School Exchange account on the iPhone myself?

Yes. For self set up instructions, see this page.

How can I buy one using UM funds?

The iPhone is available from AT&T Wireless stores, Apple stores (including, and Information Technology’s Departmental Purchases Store.

Mobile phones are purchased directly from vendors by departments, using a P-card or a Purchase Order, and this will be true of iPhones from wherever purchased.  Medical IT provides advice about phone selection, but it is ultimately up to departments to determine what kinds of phones are legitimately purchased using the UM funds they administer.

How can I buy one using my own funds?

For personal purchases, the iPhone is available from the AT&T Wireless personal purchase web store.  You can also purchase the iPhone at our Apple store for personal use purchases.  You'll need a personal credit card, however you do it.

Please note that there is no "UM discount" for personal or Departmental purchases.   Apple has lowered its prices for iPhones since the first release, but there is no corporate discount program yet.