Ford will be dishing out iPhones for corporate use to worldwide employees after successfully signing a deal with Apple.
Ford is the second largest vehicle manufacturer in the US, and will replace its fleet of corporate BlackBerry’s with Apple’s gadgets imminently.
The company is also seeking a ‘mobile technology analyst’ to oversee the transition for the ‘global deployment of iPhones’.
Sara Tatchio, a Ford spokesperson, said: "We are going to get everyone on iPhones.
"It meets the overall needs of the employees because it is able to serve both our business needs in a secure way and the needs we have in our personal lives with a single device."
Apple is attempting to gain a bigger foothold in the global enterprise market. In July, Apple and IBM struck a milestone deal, joining forces to promote Apple’s products to more businesses.
The deal opens the door for Apple to IBM’s sales machine, which will promote the use of iPhones and iPads (and possibly very soon iWatches) in industries such as health care and banking.
Device manufacturers are currently all flocking to the business market, filling voids such as those left by the demise of BlackBerry.
Never before has the business world been a prime target for Apple’s consumer-led devices, but with strong competition cropping up from Samsung and with Microsoft’s Windows Phones set to start nibbling at Apple’s mobile heels, the firm is ramping up efforts to get into the office with its portable devices.
Apple said: "The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform.
"The combination will create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction – faster and easier than ever before."
CEO Tim Cook said: "iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98% of the Fortune 500 and over 92% of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today.
BlackBerry and Dell have dismissed any threat posed by IBM’s recent move to sell versions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices integrated with corporate applications.
The companies claimed that the tie-up won’t impact them or affect plans to re-invent themselves, Reuters reported.
"I do not think that we take the Apple-IBM tie-up terribly seriously," Dell global software business head John Swainson told Reuters.
"I think it just made a good press release."
Ford’s Tatchio said that migrating Ford’s employees to iPhones will improve security, and that it’s taking no extra investment to make the switch.
Ford has over 181,000 employees worldwide. Adam Emery, a BlackBerry spokesperson, told Reuters: "While we can’t comment on this customer, we understand that there is diversity and choice in the market.
"Enterprises should think twice about relying on any solution built on the foundation of a consumer technology that lacks the proven security benefits that BlackBerry has always delivered."