Shares of BlackBerry took a beating after details emerged on partnership between two of the biggest technology companies that will directly cater to business customers.
BlackBerry shares fell 11.7 per cent, or $1.42 to $10.72 at the closing bell on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
International Business Machines Corp. and Apple Inc. said late Tuesday they plan to launch a partnership this fall that will have IBM creating more business-themed applications that will be pre-loaded onto iPhones and iPads.
The strategy would make available more than 100 IBM apps that cater to specific industries, like retail and health care.
The announcement will put Apple and IBM directly in competition with BlackBerry, which is trying to reaffirm its position in the enterprise market, an area of its business that caters to government agencies and businesses that require secure mobile communications.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook said his company is turning to help from IBM because it doesn't understand the needs of corporate customers as well as it does consumers.
IBM says the deal is about remaking the business and acknowledges security is still a problem.
“So this is all about unlocking mobilty in enterprise and value that hasn't been there to date... and one of the biggest inhibitors has been things like security,” said IBM CEO Virginia Rometty.
For BlackBerry, security has been a huge selling point.
In a statement today, it said the deal underscores the importance of secure communications
"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," the statement said.
Daniel Bader, a Canadian wireless analyst with the company Mobilesyrup.com, says that while "enterprise" loves BlackBerry, for its business-friendly software and its security, its employees would rather use an iPhone.
"This will be a test for Fortune 500 companies who tentatively continue to use BlackBerry till something better comes along and this maybe the push that they need to move over," he told CBC.