Will Broader Corporate Adoption of Apple’s iOS Invite Trouble?



One of the attractive feature of Apple products in general is the relative insignificance of viruses, malware and overall mischievous behavior by those who like to mess things up for folks in the Internet age. Most of the wrath and venom of hackers and others has been pointed at Microsoft based products because Microsoft is cast as the villain of the tech world, whether it is deserved or not.

Marketers need to pay attention to systems that they tie their success to as well. Stability and safety are two things that corporations like. Apple’s iOS usually provides that. A story from the Apple Insider, however, made me wonder if Apple will continue to be more of a tech safe house if more headlines like this occur.

Halliburton to ditch BlackBerrys in corporate transition to Apple’s iOS platform

The story here isn’t that Blackberrys are being replaced. That’s happening in many places. What is interesting is that Apple is working to become the mobile device and system of choice for one of the most targeted and vilified companies on the planet. In case you have a short memory, Halliburton is most famous for its association with Dick Cheney and war time efforts around the world. They do A LOT more and should not be cast as demons but just these two facts alone are enough to make it a brand that some would like to see taken down.

The Insider goes on to say

“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,” the Houston, Texas-based firm told employees in an internal newsletter this month.

The move comes after “significant research” into both Apple’s mobile platform and Google’s Android operating system led Halliburton to “determined that the iOS platform offered the best capabilities, controls and security for application development.” For Halliburton, supporting multiple platforms is not currently seen as feasible option.

The next quote makes this seem like more than a rumor.

“Approximately 4,500 Halliburton employees currently have BlackBerrys,” a spokeswoman for the company confirmed to AppleInsider. “We are making this transition in order to better support our mobile applications initiatives.”

She added that Halliburton actively “engaged with Apple on this transition,” which is slated to roll out in phases over the next two years.

So why the worry? Honestly, maybe there is no reason for anyone to think that Apple will not suddenly come into the crosshairs of hackers and someone who would want to bring a company like Halliburton to its knees through security mishaps. But one has to believe that something like this makes Apple less the “perfect corporate citizen” vs. Microsoft and more like, well, Microsoft.

The relative safety of the iOS platform is a great feature of it. Most have felt that the hacker world has given it a pass for the pst part because the big guns were on Windows platforms. But if Apple moves to this kind of corporate play with the iPhone the likelihood of a free pass diminishes quickly and that could mean some different problems for the company moving forward.

Things are changing at Apple already as Mac 9 to 5 reports

Last year Apple saw the loss of many executives ranging from its OS X chief, iAd chief, and Global Security chief, and 2012 has started off with another leave: the departure Vice President David Tupman. Tupman has been Apple’s Vice President of iPhone and iPod engineering for over a decade, making him a vital component of Apple’s leadership team.

Does that necessarily mean anything? No but if that kind of top talent was leaving your company would you think that maybe, just maybe, there is something happening that is at least unsettling?

We live in a world now where online safety, privacy and security are more at risk than ever and it is getting more attention than ever. Why? Because real people are getting hurt. From regular Joe’s to investors and beyond, there are concerns about just what is happening in the online space. And there should be. Heck even the online security company Symantec is supposedly being held hostage as someone threatens to release their code to the world.

While some of this may seem out there or even kind of sci-fi in nature, it’s not. If Apple is going to be painting a target on itself with corporate sales like this one the trickle down could be enormous. Not saying it will be but anyone who can connect the dots can see that the Apple safe haven idea may not be long for this world.

Your thoughts?