Ford drops company-issued BlackBerrys for iPhones

BlackBerry's growth has been stagnant for years as the company struggles to keep up with other mobile platforms like Android and iOS; although the company remains vigilant despite a predicted market share of only 0.3% in 2018, it's little secret that BlackBerry's last stand remains in enterprise contracts, providing phones and services to corporations. But BlackBerry will soon take a loss in that field too, as Ford moves its nearly 3,300 employees with company-issued mobile devices to a more dominant platform: Apple's iPhone.

Ford made the announcement in an interview yesterday, saying that it would cut ties with BlackBerry and shift its employees to iPhones. Despite having over 180,000 employees worldwide, only around 3,000 had company-issued devices, although Ford plans to give iPhones to around 9,000 employees by 2016.

Apple's market share dwarfs in comparison to Android, its largest competitor, but scoring a contract with Ford will help Apple remain on the upswing against an increasingly competitive market. On the other hand, losing a contract with Ford means that BlackBerry's business endeavors continue to slowly and painfully tumble -- despite the company's best efforts otherwise.

BlackBerry has made news recently in its attempts to climb back up the mobile market, first by selling off its entire research and development department to Volkswagen, then by (finally) launching a closed beta of BlackBerry Messenger for Windows Phone users. But for a company which has refused innovation for so long, its recent quest for revitalization may have come too little and too late.

Source: BloombergImage via BlackBerry

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I can always count on Neowin for some BB FUD. BB didn't get rid of the entire R+D department to VW the article referenced said 200 people in Germany the company has 6000-7000 employees. I'm very sure there is significant R+D resources inside BB and QNX. Where's the article from yesterday where Germany is going BB for anything important netting an order of 20000 devices for BB? Not an interesting slant for Neowin? Got it.

Exactly berserko ... I have complained about this before too :) - Neowin is terrible at BlackBerry coverage. They need to get some people to write about BB that actually know what they are talking about or don't have some sort of bias against the company or understand that BB is about more than phones now. They also didn't mention the fact that BlackBerry acquired German anti-eavesdropping company SecuSmart yesterday to further enhance their security.

I hope Ford is willing to give up security as well, as moving away from the Blackberry platform means moving to a very unsecured environment. Sure, iPhones and Androids make up the retail market, but in a corporate environment (like I work in) they're insecure and have multiple issues interacting with things like Active Domain and Exchange Servers. Not to mention that people treat them as personal phones in violation of corporate security rules by downloading insecure applications and opening gaping wide holes to allow a hacker to access data...

iPhones were banned... yes, BANNED from being used as corporate devices at the company I work for. The same may be happening soon for all Apple devices, not to mention Android devices... we need a secure device for communicating with, and right now Blackberry is the only player in that game with built-in security.

"Built-in" being the key word here. Most big companies use some type of MDM to augment the security on iPhones and Andriods. iPhones may not include the same enterprise features and security Blackberries do, but it is a bit close minded to say they cannot be made to work for most company's needs.

I meant Active Directory, was partially asleep when I was writing this. Since the Z10 and Q10 devices require you to use your NT account information in order to connect to the Exchange Server and establish your credentials on the device...

But I suppose the snarkiness from the iPhone/Android users is to be expected, since they have no clue about security in a corporate environment for the most part.

I am not sure what your point is. iOS and Android devices also use Active Directory credentials or certificates to authenticate Exchange accounts. In fact, BlackBerry uses the exact same Active Sync protocol that iOS and Andriod use to communicate with Exchange. Also, most of the people on this forum as career IT professionals (those who are not kids at least), so acting like no one knows what they are talking about is not going to get you very far.

sphbecker said,
"Built-in" being the key word here. Most big companies use some type of MDM to augment the security on iPhones and Andriods. iPhones may not include the same enterprise features and security Blackberries do, but it is a bit close minded to say they cannot be made to work for most company's needs.

If you're running a Windows shop and have SCCM, I would recommend going the Windows Phone route. Native management, no need for yet another 3rd party vendor, and you have MS on the hook for support. No brainer. iOS and Android can work in an enterprise, but is the added cost worth it? Not to mention security flaws. Who's on the hook for the latest Android security hole? Google? Samsung? Where's the indemnification/liability?

We did a pilot project with Windows Phone, in my opinion it looks promising, but we chose to not go that route. We had the following concerns
-For the most part, it is not what our users want
-WM does not include all the features we currently use our MDM for on iOS, Andriod and Blackberry (yes, we do run some BB10 products)
-Our MDM is not fully compatible with WM.
-We like the consistency of iOS products (though WM isn't far behind)
-From a support point of view, we have dedicated support reps with both Apple and Samsung and are comfortable with their support, reporting and accountability for security issues that come up. Yes, we have a rep with MS too, but you imply that is an Windows Phone exclusive, and it isn't.

The focus on enterprise will be the death of them in a consumer space, as companies don't accept the changes as readily as consumers. They'll stagnate and go the way of Blackberry before them

This is where Windows Phone has made a mistake.

The company I work for dropped BB for iPhone too. Windows Phone should have got in there and got some big companies on board, where others would follow, especially as they have a dedicated area for "Company Apps" and work so well with Azure and other Windows services.

I love Windows Phone but every day the cloud of Android and iPhone hanging over it gets that little big bigger.

Microsoft is in companies already. there are enough big names who are on board. The fact that someone has to make a news that apple is used in company makes me somehow feel that apple needs a little attention. thought this would just be what Microsoft was needing

-adrian- said,
Microsoft is in companies already. there are enough big names who are on board. The fact that someone has to make a news that apple is used in company makes me somehow feel that apple needs a little attention. thought this would just be what Microsoft was needing

This isn't significant for Apple really, it's much more significant for BlackBerry. Business users are supposed to be their bread & butter, their core clientèle, however it looks like businesses would rather go for a more popular consumer-class device than a business-class device.

Not surprised. The hardware and software is out dated. If they want to stay in business they need to sell it off or become a service company for mobile.

ACTIONpack said,
Not surprised. The hardware and software is out dated.

So is Apple, old chips, small screens and missing features the competitors have.

Son_Of_Dad said,

So is Apple, old chips, small screens and missing features the competitors have.

Right, because employees need huge screens and a plethora of useless features...
Or maybe they just need something simple that works well. Hmmmm....

btw, what are these "old chips" you speak of?

Astra.Xtreme said,

Right, because employees need huge screens and a plethora of useless features...
Or maybe they just need something simple that works well. Hmmmm....

btw, what are these "old chips" you speak of?

He doesn't know what he's talking about, it's pretty sad actually.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Right, because employees need huge screens and a plethora of useless features...
Or maybe they just need something simple that works well. Hmmmm....

btw, what are these "old chips" you speak of?

Dem old 64bit, oh wait... they are actually cutting edge. Looks like Son_Of_Dad doesn't know what he is talking about.

ACTIONpack said,
Not surprised. The hardware and software is out dated. If they want to stay in business they need to sell it off or become a service company for mobile.

Oh I thought you were talking about Ford!

Ford has 181,000 employees according to Wikipedia. Keeping in mind that dealerships are privately owned, that does not include the sales or service techs.