Dell has announced that it will be replacing 25,000 BlackBerry smartphones and instead provide its employees with Dell devices running Microsoft’s operating system: Windows Phone 7, according to the Wall Street Journal.
RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry, has had a disappointing year. Bloomberg reports that Bank of America and Citigroup are testing Android smartphones and iPhones in an effort to widen the choice of devices employees can use.
Just last month, Apple claimed that 80 per cent of all Fortune 500 companies are either using or testing the iPhone, including P&G. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase is also exploring the possibility of letting workers use iPhones and Android phones for corporate email.
Six months ago, Standard Chartered had announced that it would be replacing the BlackBerry, currently its standard corporate communications device, with the iPhone.
On a side note: Dell will also offer employees devices running Google’s Android, an operating system already running on some of the company’s mobile phone models.
The Dell-Microsoft assault
Dell’s move is not surprising. It only makes sense for the company to prefer its own products over those manufactured by others. The real scoop is that the Texas-based technology giant says that this will save them a ton of money – a claim BlackBerry dismisses as a publicity stunt. If this is true, it sure is one complicated and financially dubious antic.
By doing this, the Texas-based tech giant is trying to get the customers who use BlackBerry enterprise services – the one that forwards all your emails directly to your phone – to switch to similar business services offered by Dell.
Dell’s CFO Brian Gladden admits that the reason behind the switch is that the company competes with RIM. He is adamant that the move will be more economical for them.
Some analysts disagree
Contrary to all the commotion, a study by ABI Research expects the BlackBerry to maintain a dominant position with 26 per cent of the mobile operating system world market until 2015, despite losing some share. But the firm also says that its 26 per cent share will be the same as Google’s Android. It goes on to estimate shares of 16, 14 and 11 per cent for Nokia’s Symbian, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows, respectively.
ABI Research enterprise practice director Dan Shey said: “With the iPhone, and now Android, business customers simply have more choices. While each region will have a different set of competitive dynamics, within a few years, regional installed base market shares of 50 per cent and above will be a thing of the past.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2010.