Even before Apple AAPL launched the iPhone, says American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu, he suspected the device would have “mediocre” corporate e-mail support — stemming in part from Microsoft’s MSFT “lukewarm support” of Exchange on the Mac platform. (After all, Redmond has its Windows franchise to defend.)

That key weakness is likely to be addressed at the iPhone special event scheduled for next Thursday, according to Wu’s industry and developer sources. And in a report to clients today, he handcaps the ways that might happen:

  • from internal development (most likely),
  • third-parties including MSFT (next likely) with its ActiveSync technology,
  • or RIMM Blackberry Connect (possible but less likely)
  • or a combination of two or more.

“We do not think it will be easy to replicate the robustness of Blackberry push e-mail,” he adds, “but nonetheless, we view improvements as positive. Other enhancements we are picking up including improved security, better support of VPNs, and enterprise applications such as CRM.”