According to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the banks are in the process of testing the suitability of the device for use in a corporate environment due to the popularity of the devices among bankers for personal use.
Three sources claimed that the tests involve technology, which should assess whether the smartphones have enough security in place to allow company messaging.
Trials at Citi and BofA are thought to involve more than 1,000 employees and may take up to six weeks to complete.
Apple, which manufactures the iPhone, is now thought to be a serious contender to Research in Motion (RIM), the firm behind the BlackBerry, which has been long the standard business phone of choice, Bloomberg reported.
Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen Co, told the news provider: âPeople are delighted with their iPhones and Android phones and they want to use them for work.
âThe result is RIM now has real competition for corporate customers.â
However, Jeff McDowell, RIM senior vice-president, added: âThe opportunities for both corporate-issued and employee- purchased smartphones are growing.â
He told Bloomberg: âRIM provides the best overall platform for chief information officers to address both scenarios without compromising security or manageability.â
By Jim Ottewill