BlackBerry Ltd.'s Chief Executive Officer John Chen said earlier this week that he's not sure the device can ever regain the iconic status that once won it the moniker CrackBerry, because of users' propensity for habitual texting. The decision by Ford Motor Co. to switch its global workforce to Apple Inc.'s iPhone suggests Chen faces a more fundamental challenge to his business.
About 3,300 Ford workers will change to the iPhone by year-end, with another 6,000 getting Apple devices in the next two years, Bloomberg News's Craig Trudell and Keith Naughton report. It's the first evidence that Apple's decision to team up with International Business Machines Corp. in an effort to crack the corporate infrastructure-and-communications market is working.
In the smartphone game, Apple surpassed BlackBerry several years ago and continues to win market share, as this chart from Bloomberg Intelligence analysts John Butler and Matthew Kanterman shows:
In January 2011, I was part of a Bloomberg gang at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that tried to write a story saying the BlackBerry was dead, long live the iPhone. The reporting didn't back up the thesis: Executive after executive told us that while they loved their iPads, the BlackBerry was still the corporate tool of choice for e-mail because of its physical keyboard. I suspect that come Davos 2015, we will have difficulty finding anyone using a BlackBerry, much less hooked on the device.
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