Ford replaces employee BlackBerrys with fleet of 9,300 iPhones


Ford Motor Co. is deploying iPhones for corporate use to employees worldwide, scoring a win for Apple Inc. as it seeks to lure more corporate customers.

The second largest U.S. automaker will replace BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)’s smartphones with iPhones for about 3,300 workers by the end of this year, Sara Tatchio, a Ford spokeswoman, said yesterday in an interview. About 6,000 more employees will receive iPhones over the next two years, replacing flip phones, she said.

Huge blow to BlackBerry:

The switch to iPhones by Ford, which has about 181,000 employees worldwide, is a blow to BlackBerry and Chief Executive Officer John Chen, who has sought to turn around the company by prioritizing software-based services for corporations as its smartphone sales slump.

“While we can’t comment on this customer, we understand that there is diversity and choice in the market,” Adam Emery, a BlackBerry spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “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.”

  • “We thought twice. Thanks.”

  • arcsine

    Ford chose Blackberry’s in-car QNX system, so there is some hope for them. They also started putting their messenger software service on other platforms.

    Enough blackberry employees have lost their jobs. I hope their CEO can make great decisions and their stagnant product lines get new life.

    • James Hughes

      I agree, it’s tough watching any company circling the drain like this. So many peoples lives depend on their jobs at BB. Good luck to them.

    • Colin Mattson

      Buying QNX is one of the few smart things RIM/Blackberry’s done in the past 5 or 6 years.

  • An_Interested_Reader

    Ford is good to get these devices into employee’s hands because: – more opportunity to get real world experience and feedback, regarding phone vehicle interface (i.e. sync and carplay) during development and prototype, and fleet drives, than if folks are using the phones of yesterday; – if they are really interested in security, they will issue 5s, or 6 phones with TouchID; – they should issue the latest phones to at least the folks who do the advanced engineering, development drives and clinics, so that if the in vehicle system is laggy, and slow compared to the phone, they will be able to do a mid-cycle update to the vehicle; – automotive people travel, a lot, and passbook will be a simplifying tool for the Ford people on the go; – automotive launches, and later in-production quality issues, require a lot of communication between plants, dealerships, and the product development people in Dearborn, Michigan, Cologne, Germany; China, Brazil, Russia, etc. Being able to send pics, or videos, or audio from remote locations to the product development and quality folks will speed up problem resolutions quickly and without the need of sending teams of people out into the field for a look see (a big savings in travel and time expense); – similar to above, Ford has around 5,000 direct suppliers around the globe. Improving contact between a supplier and Ford Supplier Technical Assistance and / or Product Development, will result in a massive productivity and cost savings.

    Properly deployed and used, Ford will be able to purchase the most expensive iPhone model, and it will still save millions in direct and indirect costs for having done this … whoever proposed this and approved this should be promoted!

  • satcomer

    Maybe there is hope now Ford will use Apple CarPlay then their stupid My Ford Touch.