When you think of business smart phones, the BlackBerry probably comes to mind first. And then a handful of Windows Mobile devices. And then maybe the iPhone. Maybe you should change your thinking. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the iPhone ranks the highest in overall customer satisfaction among business wireless smart phone users. That comes as a surprise to us, considering the iPhone’s lack of a physical keyboard. But at least according to this survey, business users in the real world have different priorities. Apple received a score of 778 out of 1,000. The scores were based on ease of operation (27%), the operating system (24%), physical design (21%), handset features (18%); and battery aspects (10%). RIM and Samsung followed up behind Apple, scoiring 703 and 701 points on the same scale, respectively. HTC, Motorola, and Palm brought up the rear. In the report, BlackBerry devices fared best under the battery rating. Apple was ranked worst with Palm, HTC, and Motorola. Given the fact that Apple has added Microsoft Exchange support to the iPhone and that it offers security features like remote wipe, we expected that the device was making inroads with the business crowd. But we’re certainly surprised that it would beat RIM in such a survey. Then again, Apple did just overtake RIM in the third quarter in overall smart phone sales. I agree with Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D. Power and Associates when he says, “By making basic applications and features easy to use and providing a thin, lightweight device, Apple has performed well in exceeding customer expectations.” In other words, the most feature-packed smart phone will not satisfy consumers or business users if it’s not easy to carry and easy to use, and in those respects the iPhone outshines the competition. Could the iPhone 3G be more business-friendly? Sure. I’d like to see more reliable data coverage, cut and paste functionality, that ability to search e-mail, and real voice-guided GPS navigation. Plus, DataViz Documents to Go would be nice for viewing and editing Office documents. But when you consider everything the iPhone does well, especially its superior browser and the ease with which you can add applications, these survey results aren’t as shocking as when I first got them. I wonder if these results will change once the BlackBerry Bold and Storm get in more users’ hands. Now tell us what you think.