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.