Canadian Manufacturing

Ford to dump BlackBerry employee phones in favour of iPhone

Automaker plans to replace BlackBerry smartphones with about 3,300 iPhones by end of 2014



TORONTO—Ford Motor Co. is hanging up on BlackBerry Ltd. and giving thousands of its employees Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

A spokesperson for the automaker said Ford aims to replace BlackBerry smartphones with about 3,300 iPhones by the end of the year.

Over the next two years, another 6,000 iPhones will be handed out to staff who currently use various flip phone models.

Ford representative Sara Tatchio said the changes began last year, and that the decision wasn’t hinged on BlackBerry.

Instead, Ford found that iPhones met both employees’ needs and the company’s security requirements.

BlackBerry has lost some big clients in recent years, including hardware retailer Home Depot, which abandoned the phone in early 2013, although others like Canadian Tire Corp. have stuck with the device.

A statement from BlackBerry declined to comment on Ford’s decision, but said businesses “should think twice” about relying on consumer technology that “lacks the proven security benefits that BlackBerry has always delivered.”

The Waterloo, Ont.-based firm may not be completely abandoned by Ford, However, as reports earlier this year indicated Ford was considering dumping its Sync in-car infotainment platform run by Microsoft Corp. software in favour of a system developed by BlackBerry’s QNX Software Systems Ltd. subsidiary.

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