Ford Plans To Replace BlackBerries With iPhones Beginning This Year

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Ford is going to start switching its employees over to iPhone, beginning with moving 3,300 staffers from BlackBerry devices to iPhones by the end of the year. Over the course of the next two years, approximately 6,000 employees will get iPhones, replacing their existing flip phones, but ultimately the goal is to get everyone on Apple’s iPhone platform, a Ford spokesperson told Bloomberg. This may be the first in a wave of similar announcements as IT departments are won over by Apple’s new partnership with IBM.

Ford’s representative lauded the iPhone‘s ability to both serve business needs securely and also act as a personal device, which indicates Ford is happy to go with the BYOD trend and encourage shared use of tech for both private and professional lives. The company also wants all employees on the same platform, for the sake of ease and simplicity.

This obviously isn’t good news for BlackBerry, which is currently holding a security conference and just announced the acquisition of German voice encryption company Secusmart. BlackBerry maintains that its mobile platform is the most secure available in the enterprise, but clearly Ford is impressed enough with iOS’s strengths in that department to begin a rollout that should eventually extend to a big piece of its 181,000 global workforce.

If Apple can continue to win over enterprise customers thanks to its new commitment to enterprise apps, mobile device management, fleet distribution and others through IBM, times could get much rougher than they already are for Waterloo-based BlackBerry, and this Ford news is definitely going to have the one-time ruler of enterprise mobility hurting.