Research In Motion (RIMM) has received word that its Blackberry system may be dumped by the world’s largest banking group HSBC – as its standard corporate mobile device over iPhone. No matter how one looks at this news — this is certainly a blow, and can not be described as a positive development for the Canadian wireless device company.
According to ZDNet Australia, the banking giant is seriously considering stripping its employees of their BlackBerry handsets, which is HSBC’s current standard staff mobile – and equip them with Apple iPhones instead. HSBC has currently some 330,000 staff internationally.
Brenton Hush, chief information officer at HSBC’s Australia and New Zealand division, told reporters that the group is definitely considering deploying the iPhone “conservatively, to 200,000 people”.
Should HSBC select the iPhone as its corporate mobile device ; not only it would be one of the largest ever iPhone orders (some 200,000 of them), but it will also pave the way for other corporations to adopt the iPhone as their standard issue handset.
Most corporations passed on the iPhone when it was first released, due to skepticism in some perceived inadequacies relating to security issues and lack of support for Microsoft’s Exchange email platform. However, Apple has rectified both issues, notes ZDnet – by adopting a number of new tools into the new iPhone 3G, specifically targeted at corporate use.
Apple (AAPL) is clearly using its Web-browsing iPhone to move into the corporate market after years of largely ignoring the segment. The fact that iPhone continues to be ‘closed’ is the very sign of Apple’s seriousness about enterprise sales. With HSBC now seemingly on board and the idea of standardising the iPhone for corporate network access ; the corporate market could be a whole new source of growth for the Cupertino, CA-based co., putting it – into direct competition with Research In Motion whose BlackBerry devices currently dominate the wireless e-mail market.