Another blow for Blackberry as Ford switches staff to iPhones

Ford Motor Company has decided to give its employees iPhones instead of Blackberrys for corporate use.

Blackberry handsets will be replaced for approximately 3,300 workers by the end of the year, with a further 6,000 staff receiving iPhones over the next two years. In an online job posting, the company also revealed that it is hiring a mobile technology analyst to oversee the global deployment of corporate iPhones.

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The news will also be welcomed by Apple, as the firm looks to increase its share of the corporate smartphone market.

The company announced this month that it will begin working with IBM to create business software for both iPhones and iPads in an attempt to cater for an increasingly mobile workforce.

Ford spokeswoman, Sara Tatchio, explained the decision to switch handsets.

"We are going to get everyone on iPhones," she 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."

Tatchio also said that the change will improve security and confirmed that Ford will be making no extra investment to convert to iPhones, aside from the cost of replacing the devices.

The decision will come as a blow to Blackberry and its CEO John Chen however, who has attempted to turn the company's fortunes around as sales of its smartphones continue to fall.

"While we can't comment on this customer, we understand that there is diversity and choice in the market," said Adam Emery, a BlackBerry spokesman. "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."

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According to a recent forecast by researcher IDC, Apple's iPhone is expected to represent 15 per cent of the smartphone market this year, while Blackberry is predicted to have less than one per cent.