Both Bank of America and Citigroup are currently running trials with the iPhone as they decide whether to allow employees to use the iPhone as an alternative to RIM’s BlackBerry for corporate e-mail. Citing three people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg reports that the companies are testing software designed to make it secure enough for company messaging. “People are delighted with their iPhones and Android phones and they want to use them for work,” said Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen Co. “The result is RIM now has real competition for corporate customers.”
The report states that both trials involve more than 1,000 employees; testing at Bank of America is said to be in advanced stages and will likely be followed by a pilot project prior to wider implementation. Both companies are also said to be testing Android-based devices for the same purposes. In addition to Bank of America and Citigroup, the report claims that JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS are considering letting using employees use iPhones for corporate e-mail, while Standard Chartered Bank said in May that it was switching from BlackBerry to the iPhone and expects to have 15,000 of the devices deployed by the end of 2010.