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  5. Bankers back iPhone over BlackBerry

Bankers back iPhone over BlackBerry

Bankers back iPhone over BlackBerry

The iPhone is now the smartphone of choice for financial institution Standard Chartered, with the previous partnership with BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) consigned to history.

Bankers who are currently using BlackBerry smartphones for their corporate affairs have been told by head office that they may jump ship and choose the iPhone if they wish, according to Reuters.

"It's a group-wide initiative involving wholesale and consumer banks globally," said a spokesperson for Standard Chartered.

Moving email accounts over to the iPhone's platform was initiated in April and with more than 75,000 employees working for it, Standard Chartered could be the catalyst to a significant shift in the business mobile user's preferences.

The likes of HSBC and Morgan Stanley are sticking with BlackBerry smartphones as mandatory for the time being and an overnight iPhone take-over is unlikely in such a vast industry.

"If more companies switch to the iPhone, this is of course bad news for RIM. However, it will take a long time for companies to do their own internal testing before deciding to change, so it will be a while before it has any effect on RIM," said industry expert Lu Chialin.

"I think the point is it's a very dynamic market. There are many very imaginative companies out there. Service providers, vendors, software application developers, very dynamic," said RIM's Gregory Shea in an interview with Reuters.

The first bank to offer the iPhone as a BlackBerry alternative did so back in mid 2009 and other institutions have since given iPhone users who have an Apple smartphone for personal use the chance to access work email accounts from their personal mobile phone.

Data protection and proper encryption are still the greatest concerns amongst businesses looking into smartphone choice.

"RIM has a system that is more effective than most other handset makers, so if there is a shift toward the iPhone it's not going to happen overnight but rather a slow and gradual change," said Mr Lin.

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