Major banking group considers replacing BlackBerry with iPhone

Global banking conglomerate HSBC is taking a hard look at using the iPhone 3G over its current fleet of corporate BlackBerry devices. Such a move could involve the purchase of 200,000 iPhones globally and give Apple's goal of penetrating the enterprise a big boost. "We are actually reviewing iPhones from a HSBC Group perspective...and when I say that, I mean globally," HSBC's Australia and New Zealand chief information officer Brenton Hush told ZDNet. HSBC has about 330,000 employees globally.

Hush added: "A decision on a piece of hardware like that would potentially be deployed, conservatively, to 200,000 people," said Hush. "You know, it's a big decision, especially when you have an existing fleet out there." Apple has made it a priority with this latest iPhone launch to penetrate large corporations. The company worked with Cisco to include corporate VPNs in the new iPhone as well as support for Microsoft Exchange. A beta program had support from just over a third of the Fortune 500 companies.

It may not be that easy for Apple to displace the BlackBerry in the corporate market, however. Analysts note the plethora of specialized hardware that enterprises have purchased in conjunction with their use of the BlackBerry.

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