Apple's iPhone is being evaluated for use by Bank of America and Citigroup, hinting at the device's continued push into the enterprise space.
Apple's iPhone is under consideration as a BlackBerry alternative by Bank of
America and Citigroup, according to a Nov. 5 Bloomberg report. Unnamed sources
suggested that both companies are testing the iPhone's software security and
that Android is also under consideration as a corporate mobile
Both banking groups were reluctant to comment on any Apple iPhone or Android
a spokesperson for Bank of America telling Bloomberg
: "We continuously
evaluate new and innovative technologies." The four- to six-week testing
at both companies reportedly involve 1,000 employees.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry, with its reputation for security, has long
been the smartphone mainstay of many large enterprises.
Apple is making a more concerted push into the enterprise space. "We've
seen extraordinary growth from 60 percent to 80 percent of Fortune 500
companies," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said
during the company's Oct. 18 earnings call
. He cited companies such as Procter
& Gamble that had "made iPhone available to their employees." The
iPad is also under heavy consideration by large enterprises' CIOs and IT
To boost that enterprise push, Apple
has reportedly struck a deal with Unisys to increase its corporate and
. Under the terms of that agreement, Unisys will
provide maintenance and support for Apple products in use by those enterprises.
"Most of those organizations are still heavily PC-based," Gene
Zapfel, a managing partner at Unisys, told
Bloomberg in an interview published Oct. 25
. "Apple is going to crack
the nut and clients are going to start buying a lot more." Terms of the
deal remain undisclosed; reports suggest, though, that Unisys will also begin
constructing more Apple apps for government use.
With the rise of consumer-device use in the enterprise space, security and
compatibility concerns among IT administrators have also sharply increased. "Employees
and employers both agree-a Device and App Revolution exists although perceptions
regarding extent of that revolution differ," reads a June report prepared
by research firm IDC for Unisys. "Younger
employees (iWorkers) are not demanding change. ... They are driving it [through]
Consensus Usage (IT Shop and Corp liability issues be damned)."
That report also suggested that around 50 percent of workplace devices end
up used in both personal and business contexts: "Data is freely mingled."
Which may not be the best situation for institutions such as Bank of America
and Citigroup-hence the reported testing.