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Banks look elsewhere after BlackBerry outage Reuters

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to trial the use of iPhones and iPads among senior staff, replacing their current BlackBerrys in a move that could see RIM lose out to Apple as the business phone of choice.

Just a week after BlackBerry customers suffered a three-day blackout, forcing manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to issue a public apology, RBS joins a growing list of businesses looking to Apple for a better service.

US banks Citigroup and Bank of America are also running trials of Apple devices, signalling a shift in support from BlackBerry to iPhone in the business market, a sector previously dominated by RIM when it uniquely offered push email and message encryption.

"We our piloting iPhones and iPads within our leadership team," RBS, which employs 17,000 people in its investment bank and 140,000 across the world, said.

According to the Guardian, it is understood that Morgan Stanley is also running a small iPad trial, while Bank of America and Citigroup have been running iPhone trials with around 1000 employees since last year.

The switch to Apple from BlackBerry may not be entirely down to the RIM blackout last week, but the timing of this announcement does not bode well for the Canadian company, which is already suffering from decreasing market share in the smartphone sector.

Due to its encrypted servers, BlackBerry has been the phone of choice for many banks, but these pilots will establish whether Apple devices are secure enough to manage sensitive company information, such as emails and shared documents.

Security on iPhones and iPads has increased with every software update since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, and the devices now feature email encryption and the ability to be remotely wiped to prevent data falling into the wrong hands if lost or stolen.