ShoreTel dock turns iPhones and iPads into desk phones

A new docking station from ShoreTel lets employees use their iPhones and iPads at work as desk phones.

ShoreTel dock turns iPhones and iPads into desk phones

Downloading the ShoreTel Mobility app equips the device with the ability to dial colleagues’ extensions, transfer calls and access work voicemail as they would from a traditional desk phone. Users can also use the app to make enterprise VoIP calls over Wi-Fi, meaning they can make use of their business numbers on their devices.

The dock mimicks a standard desk phone. It allows users to recharge their device, make calls using a dial pad, and boosts the quality of their calls. The firm has bolstered the docks with components from its desk phones to improve speaker and microphone quality. The firm also said the ability to make lengthy VoIP calls while an iPhone is docked would, in practice, be more comfortable than using the phone by itself.

In a potential sign of Apple’s growing hold on the enterprise market through the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, ShoreTel won’t ship docks for Android phones and tablets until next year, due to the sheer number of different devices and iOS’ lead in the market. “iOS was the obvious place to start,” said EMEA managing director Adrian Hipkiss.

The firm also said that while BYOD had seen greater traction in the US over the last couple of years, Europe was catching up at a rapid pace.

“Demand is huge – the European market is where it’s really driven now,” said European product manager, Clinton Fitch. “Mobile devices in the enterprise have 70% penetration in certain markets.”

ShoreTel’s dock will ship in the UK from July, with a £249 list price and a 30-pin connector. It will be compatible with the iPhone 5, as long as the user has a Lightning adaptor. ShoreTel said versions with Android support will arrive next year.

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