Ford Motor Co., the second-largest car manufacturer in the US, joins the list of companies replacing BlackBerry smartphones with the iPhone. The automaker plans to equip about 3,300 workers with Apple iPhones by the end of this year, and about 6,000 more will receive iPhones over the next two years, Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio informed Bloomberg.
Since Ford has roughly 181,000 employees worldwide, such a move will certainly affect BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s plans to turn around the struggling company.
“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.”
Having all employees on the same smartphone will improve security and simplify information technology management, Tatchio said. Ford is making “no extra investment” to convert to iPhones, other than the cost of replacing the devices, she said.
Apple has recently announced a deal with IBM that will help the iPhone maker expand its reach to a lucrative customer base: companies. Actually, the popularity of the iPhone and iPad among employees has already prompted corporate tech managers to change traditional buying patterns.
The vast majority of Fortune 500 companies already use the iPhone or iPad, and the fact that Apple and IBM have put aside a 30-year rivalry and joined forces suggests that Apple is aiming high in the enterprise market. Ford’s corporate transit to the iPhone can be considered a direct result of the partnership between the two.