iPhones are changing how companies use mobile devices for work, claims Apple senior VP and CFO Peter Oppenheimer. Many businesses now run their operations, inventory and communications solely with their iPhones. And, the trend appears to be growing with Apple selling a record 51 million iPhones in just the first quarter of 2014. If you're looking to jump on the iPhone trend for your business, here are four companies you can learn from:

Surfline

Surfline is a Huntington Beach, California, company that provides information about live and predicted ocean weather along with editorial content.

It has 1.5 million unique web users and 500,000 mobile visitors. The company also does consulting work for the general public, private businesses and the government to help them know about peak surf times and fishing experiences.

Surfline's Scientific Product Manager Graeme Rae uses an iPhone to ensure Surfline's site is always up and running, whether he's in the office or on the go. If there's a problem with the site, he can usually fix it by logging into his content management system from his iPhone. The company also uses iPhones to navigate its 150 live-streaming cameras to see specific waves and to check ocean conditions in real time.

TCHO Chocolate

HNCK4011-1300x867It's not everyday a former NASA software entrepreneur founds a chocolate company. But, TCHO was developed by founder Timothy Childs with a vision to make artisanal chocolate from scratch. He also developed an iPhone app to allow him to remotely control his Flavor Lab and to log into any one of his machines. He can even control the temperatures or turn the machines off.

Not closely monitoring the temperature of the chocolate can mean spoiling several tons of product and wasting thousands of dollars. TCHO's remote-controlled lab means Childs can monitor his business from wherever he is and at any time of day without the cost of hiring someone to do it for him.

Mount Sinai Hospital

Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital developed the VitalHub iPhone app to give its physicians secure, remote access to patient records and test results from an internal data network. That means they can check vital statistics and medical research while on the go and get instant results.

Being able to use VitalHub on an iPhone also gives the doctors quick and easy access to complete administrative tasks, return phone calls and stay mobile instead of sitting behind a desk. VitalHub is HIPPA compliant, meaning it protects patient information around the clock. It uses multi-factor authentication to constrain system access and doesn't store patient data on individual devices.

Virtual Aviation

United Kingdom-based company Virtual Aviation operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing full-flight simulators across six locations. The team members use their iPhones to change the front end of their website through a content management system. They also do their banking, scheduling and payments of pilots, and various operational duties right from their iPhones.

Virtual Aviation depends on immediate and last-minute bookings, so the team members use the iPhone to open different documents, whether at their office or traveling. They need quick access to attachments with real-time access and push email. Most of the company's pilots also have iPhones so they don't have to take any paperwork, such as charts, airport diagrams or weather information, with them. Instead, they access it all through their iPhone app.

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