Dell Moves Away from BlackBerry; RIM Cries Publicity Stunt

By Cindy Waxer November 05, 2010

Dell plans to ditch BlackBerry phones in favor of moving roughly 25,000 of its 100,000 employees onto its own line of Dell phones, reported the Wall Street Journal. But while Dell says the migration will reduce its mobile costs by 25 percent, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is arguing that Dell’s much-ballyhooed dump is nothing more than a publicity stunt.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dell plans to move employees onto its VenuePro which will soon be available on AT&T as one of the first smartphones to run Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows Phone 7.

“Clearly in this decision we are competing with RIM, because we're kicking them out," Dell’s chief financial officer, Brian Gladden, said in an interview.

Yet in an emailed statement to the Wall Street Journal, RIM said it's "highly unlikely" that Dell will save any money by switching to the Dell Venue Pro from the BlackBerry.

"We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity," RIM's senior vice president of corporate marketing Mark Guibert said in an emailed statement.

Regardless, RIM can’t afford to shed any customers these days. According to a report by tech trend firm ComScore, RIM is fast losing market share to Google’s Android operating system. Among the report’s key findings is that consumer awareness of Google’s Android is growing rapidly, due in large part to the Verizon Droid ad campaign. RIM is still the leading mobile smartphone platform, dropping from 42.1 percent to 41.7 percent market share. It’s followed closely by Apple which dropped from 25.4 percent to 24.4 percent and Microsoft which dropped from 15.1 percent to 13.2 percent. 

But while Android ranked fourth on the list, it skyrocketed from 9 percent to 13 percent market share in this same period. Even research firm Gartner estimated BlackBerry’s share of worldwide smartphone sales dropped one percentage point to 18 percent in the second quarter of this year versus the previous as shares of Android and Apple devices rose.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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