Ford dumps BlackBerry for iPhones

Ford is dropping BlackBerry handsets in favour of iPhones, with the firm planning on deploying approximately 9,000 iOS devices over the next two years.

The US car giant aims to rollout 3,300 Phones by the end of 2014, Sara Tatchio, a Ford spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

Ford is looking to hire a mobile technology analyst to oversee the global deployment of iPhones. Over the next 24 months, the company plans on getting iPhones into the hands of another 6,000 employees.

"We are going to get everyone on iPhones," Tatchio said.

"It meets the overall needs of the employees because it is able to serve both our business needs in a secure way and the needs we have in our personal lives with a single device."

By switching all employees to one handset, Ford expects security to be tighter and IT management to be simplified. Ford claims it does not have to make any changes to its backend systems, and the only cost associated with the switchover involving the purchase of the iOS devices.

The move will come as a blow to BlackBerry, which has switched its focus entirely to the business market after a disappointing consumer reception to its BB10 handsets.

The Canadian smartphone maker declined to comment directly on Ford, simply warning that other platforms are not proven in the business market.

"Enterprises should think twice about relying on any solution built on the foundation of a consumer technology that lacks the proven security benefits that BlackBerry has always delivered," Adam Emery, a BlackBerry spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.

It's been a difficult end to the month for BlackBerry, which saw shares drop 10 per cent after Apple and IBM announced a deal to develop business-focused apps for iPhone and iPad users. The collaboration will also see Big Blue sell iOS devices to its customers.

Although BlackBerry is still popular with government and legal organisations, the firm's market share in the business market is expected to take a hit as iOS, Android and Windows Phone continue to make gains.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.