JPMorgan trades in corporate Blackberries for iPhones

Posted by Mark Raby

In what is perhaps the most devastating move for Blackberry's dominance in the enterprise phone market, one of the biggest companies in the US is testing a new plan that would ditch its employees' Blackberries and give them iPhones instead.

The Blackberry platform has lost considerable ground, like every other mobile operating system, amidst the consumer frenzy over the iPhone and Android. But Blackberry maker RIM has been able to hold onto the small nugget that corporate users still trust its brand for use in large-scale enterprise settings.

However, that dominance has also been called into question, as stories have trickled in about small businesses turning away from Blackberry for corporate use.

Today, though, is the most high-profile example to date. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it is launching a pilot program that will give its employees iPhones and Android phones instead of Blackberries, which it had most likely been using for decades. The company employs around 220,000 employees, reports Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also reports that rival financial services company UBS AG is also considering switching to the iPhone as its enterprise platform.

"This phenomenon is very new and we expect it to put increased pressure on RIM’s performance. BlackBerry isn’t the only alternative to offer employees mobile e-mail," said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu.

And that may not only be the most sobering fact for RIM, it may be the fact that puts the entire business on the chopping block.