HSBC eyeing iPhone

Matthew JC. Powell
14 August, 2008
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At the moment, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is very much the dominant player in the corporate smartphone market — a position it has held for some time and in which it is well and truly entrenched. It’s the game to beat if Apple wants to boast about enterprise adoption of the iPhone, and so far it’s got little more than a few careful sniffs. One of those sniffers, however, happens to be one of the biggest companies on the planet.

According to a report on, HSBC is considering rolling out 200,000 iPhones to its global workforce, which numbers in excess of 330,000 with a technology budget of $US6 billion. Presently HSBC issues its employees with BlackBerry handsets.

While other companies have expressed doubts over the iPhone’s suitability for enterprise deployment, largely because of the BlackBerry’s superior e-mail capabilities, HSBC CIO for Australia and New Zealand said Apple had been “pretty smart with the design”.

At this point, of course, HSBC is doing little more than investigating the technology, as it does with any new technological innovation that may or may not assist its business. Like many corporations it’s got an installed infrastructure built around BlackBerry and shifting that would not be trivial.

However, the mere fact of HSBC’s interest (along with a reported 165 companies on the Fortune 500) does demonstrate that the iPhone is beginning to garner attention from the big end of town.

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