The move to integrate digital lifestyle applications into smartphones such as the iPhone could see UK business hit with another tax.

Driven by Apple's move to introduce the iPhone, leisure-focused activities are expected to become more prevalent in smartphones. While this may be a utility boost for business users, it appears the UK taxman is monitoring the situation.

This is because mobile phones provided to staff for business use are presently free of income tax liability and not seen as a "benefit in kind", observes Cellular News.

But as mobiles become more like mobile personal computers, the taxman may weigh in to try to pull in a few more quid to the treasury.

Firms offering PDA and Blackberry devices to staff have already been hit by this, with the taxman assessing these as benefits in the same way as it sees personal computer provision.

"If there is significant personal usage of the iPhone - and its music heritage and consumer features are all driven towards leisure usage - it would be very hard to argue that it should not be treated as a benefit in kind and subject to income tax," UK-based Telecom Expense Management consultant, Aurora Kendrick James warned.

The consultant warns that if the taxman decides to assess deployment of smartphone devices as a taxable entity, then up to three million corporate users in the UK could be affected, creating an accountancy minefield for their financial departments.