UK bank Standard Chartered is to offer its workers a switch to the iPhone in a move that could strengthen the corporate appeal of the Apple device and see thousands of bankers ditching their BlackBerrys.
The bank has agreed to pay monthly billing for business-related phone and data services for its employees using iPhones.
A spokeswoman for Standard Chartered told V3.co.uk that firm is " very excited" about the initiative, which will see iPhones rolled out to staff globally beginning with the largest user base, in Singapore, last month.
"We have successfully transitioned more than a quarter of our corporate subscribers to the iPhone, and are well on track to complete the rollout by July," said the spokeswoman.
"Some of our more savvy users, like our chief executive, Peter Sands, and chief information officer, Jan Verplancke, are already enjoying the benefits of this blended work-life device."
The move by Standard Chartered is significant given that BlackBerrys are the standard device issued to workers at most financial institutions.
Good Technology, a provider of push mobility solutions, is looking to create a more level playing field in the market by enabling traditionally consumer focused devices such as the iPhone to be used in a corporate environment.
The company's iPhone and Android clients, launched last year, are designed to provide enterprise-class email and secure access to these devices, and the firm said that it is "already in advanced discussions" with many banks and financial institutions considering switching devices.
The firm's chief marketing officer, John Herrema, argued that although the BlackBerry is the current business mobile of choice, new devices could soon take a stranglehold on the enterprise market.
"Our research has found that employees are starting to flock to the iPhone, and other devices are gaining in popularity," he added.
"In addition to the smartphone rise, IT departments need to be forward-thinking to manage a broad range of other devices such as netbooks, tablets including the new Apple iPad, and even readers such as the QUE from PlasticLogic."
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