Halliburton dumps corporate BlackBerry for iPhone

Energy services major Halliburton plans to stop issuing BlackBerry smartphones to employees in favor of Apple’s iPhone, news reports said on Wednesday.

Halliburton said in a statement obtained by Reuters and The New York Times that it would move 4,500 of its employees with a RIM (Research In Motion) BlackBerry onto the iPhone during the next two years.

“We are making this transition in order to better support our mobile applications initiatives," said spokeswoman Tara Mullee Agard.

“Halliburton has engaged with Apple on this transition,” she added.

The company did “significant research” into both Apple’s mobile platform and Google’s Android operating system, according to Apple enthusiast blog AppleInsider.

That research led Halliburton to determine “that the iOS platform offered the best capabilities, controls and security for application development”, the blog said.

“Over the next year, we will begin expanding the use of our mobile technology by transitioning from the BlackBerry (RIM) platform that we currently use to smartphone technology via the iPhone,” Halliburton told employees in an internal newsletter.

The BlackBerry smartphones have dominated corporate mobile communications in recent years, due to their perceived email and security reliability.

However, Apple products and smartphones have increased their challenge to BlackBerry in recent months, and RIM has begun losing corporate market share, the reports say.

Halliburton is one of the world’s largest energy service firms, with 70,000 employees in 80 countries.

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