3,300 Ford employees currently using a BlackBerry will be getting a company-issued iPhone before the end of the year, and 6,000 will be replacing their flip phones with iOS devices in the next two year. Ford spokesperson Sara Tatchio commented on the switch.
Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have pushed for reform of the US patent system after being involved in a multitude of legal actions over patents, but now they're pushing to slow reform. Apple and Microsoft are teaming up with Ford Motor Company, DuPont, General Electric, Pfizer, and IBM for the Partnership for american Innovation, which aims to convince members of the United States Congress to dial back some of their proposals on patent reform in order to protect their own patents.
Ford's iPhone-friendly voice recognition system (SYNC) and app developer environment (AppLink) are expanding to Asia Pacific and Africa after its original launch in North America. The Ford Focus will be spearheading the expansion in Taiwan, and will include both English and Mandarin recognition. SYNC's European launch is also kicking off this year.
Microsoft produces Windows, the operating system of choice for most iPhone users, and Exchange ActiveSync, the push data system Apple (and Google!) have licensed for business users. They also make Sync, the integration system found in Ford cars, which has just gotten an update.