Blackberries, once the ne plus ultra of business phones, have been taking a beating in the modern smartphone era.
Today Dell announced that it will be moving its 25,000 employees from Blackberries to its own Dell Venue Pro – a phone running the new Windows Phone 7 operating system.
(The move by Dell stings, but its probably the only way that company can sell a smartphone these days…)
The more troubling problem for RIM is that this is part of larger trend. Once considered the high end of mobile, RIM has been surpassed in the era of the app.
In recent months it has been reported that major institutional clients like Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS and JP Morgan Chase are considering switching their staff from RIM to iPhone and Android.
Unless RIM can produce a sexy smartphone and bulk up its offering of apps, it will never have the appeal of iPhone or Android. And companies like switching from RIM corporate accounts to employees personal smartphones because it saves them money.
A major security breach on Android or iPhone might help RIM to retain its business, as security has always been one of their selling points. In fact, the best move might be a compromise, with RIM switching to Android, but retaining many of its proprietary security features.