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Trickle of companies switching from BlackBerry to iPhone?

updated 05:25 pm EDT, Thu October 1, 2009

Shift driven by subtle differences

A small but significant number of corporations are switching from BlackBerries to iPhones, a new report claims. Citing various industry sources, including a "top sales executive" from a major cellphone carrier, the report suggests that several factors are spurring a transition. Predominant is cost, since a company with a thousand workers may spend tens of thousands of dollars handling BlackBerry services, a consequence of hosting internal servers or relying on outsourcing.

iPhone support is said to be less resource-intensive by comparison, for instance offloading many sync requirements on Apple. The sales executive explains that one client recently switched all of its 400 workers to the iPhone as a part of cost-cutting measures.

Another issue is international access, as a multinational corporation may find itself unable to use a BlackBerry in every region. The executive cites the example of one Japanese company with US offices, which switched to the iPhone because it could be used in Japan and Korea as well as the US. The problem is said to involve frequency bands, meaning that only the BlackBerry Bold or any upcoming BlackBerry can be used in all three countries.

The iPhone is also believed to provide better web browsing, which is typically less important from a corporate perspective. It is however resulting in pressure on IT departments from individual workers, who may feel a need for improved browsing partly as a result of Apple's marketing. Such bottom-up influence may eventually affect the directions of more businesses.

The executive lastly comments that while less than 10 percent of his clients have switched in the past six months, "practically zero" were migrating a year ago.

by MacNN Staff



  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Will stay a trickle until a few things show up

    I can see moving to the iphone for a company with very low security requirements, but the vast majority of enterprise companies are going to see the lack of whole device encryption and remote hosting of mail for synchronization as an issue.

    Where I work we allow iPhones on the network for surfing the web, but accessing corporate email is not permitted.

    We also do not allow any storage of company documents on iPhones. This is because there is no whole device encryption available. We encrypt all of our laptops and this same capability would be needed on the iphone for it to comply with our security standards.

    The issue of having apple sync outlook/exchange data is also a concern, that puts us in a position of not having full control over our data. Its a security concern in its own right, as well as *possibly* an issue of reliability and service availability.

    Until we can get full device encryption on an iPhone and install an enterprise server which handles exchange/outlook to iphone mail handling it is basically a limited use device for us.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Full e-mail encrytption *is* available


    Full e-mail encryption and remote-wipe *is* available for the iPhone. Sybase-iAnywhere makes such a product that will sync with Lotus Notes or Exchange. All e-mail / calendar / contacts are kept in the sandbox of the app (not synced with the unsecure onboard apps). If/when the device is lost the data can also be purged from the device. Not really sure what else you need.

    We use that same app for our e-mail. It's quite nice for what it does.

  1. ERG

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "having apple sync data is also a concern"

    that assertion is probably true, but with BlackBerries you have your carrier and RIM handling the sync (at least for the emails)...
    Don't you feel concerned that way?

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