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Dell to swap workers' BlackBerrys for its own WP7 handset

by Sarah Griffiths on 5 November 2010, 12:07

Tags: Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), RIM (TSE:RIM)

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Mobile mayhem

Dell plans to swap its employees' BlackBerrys for its own smartphones then help other firms to make the switch too in a bid to compete with Research in Motion (RIM).

According to The Wall Street Journal, Dell's 25,000 employees will be offered Dell's new Windows Phone 7 handset, the Venue Pro or an Android alternative in return for their BlackBerrys.

Dell's CFO, Brian Gladden, told the newspaper: "Clearly in this decision we are competing with RIM, because we're kicking them out."

He reportedly said the switchover will begin next week and is set to cut Dell's communications costs by a quarter, mostly by doing away with the need for BlackBerry servers.

While Dell has so far not made much of an impression in the smartphone market it appears to be determined to make inroads to RIM's dominance in the mobile business space and RIM will no doubt be disappointed to lose a big customer.

Gladden reportedly said: "We actually had a conversation last night around creating a site on eBay where we can actually sell these BlackBerry devices," adding that he doesn't think RIM is aware of ‘the scope of what we're doing' in the smartphone business market overall.

Perhaps more worrying for RIM than losing thousands of handsets, is Dell's motive to help other businesses switch to its Microsoft or Android-powered devices and offer services.

Gladden told The WSJ that services such as setting up networks command higher margins that flogging handsets, which continue to drop in price so he is willing to sell rival manufacturers' devices as part of a wireless package if needs be.

"I'm not sure I care as much about the devices as the services. There's a services opportunity that we think is even bigger," he reportedly added.

Dell's WP7 Venue Pro was built for business users and the firm is reportedly working with Microsoft to take advantage of the software opportunity within the market.

Paul Bryan, Microsoft's senior director for WP7 product management, told the newspaper the business market is evolving as more people want to use their personal phones at work, so there is an opportunity for Microsoft to provide software to help them do this.

"We want our phones to be appealing to individuals, and people have needs that span personal and work," he reportedly said.



HEXUS Forums :: 1 Comment

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Erm thats confident.

But after a little over a week of WP7 usage in full, I have to say whilst its missing many things from a business point of view its actually pretty damn feature complete. So long as your not wanting to use it as an embedded device like some did with WM6.5 and lower.

If its a BB replacement it does the email better than any other phone I've used, expect for the lack of cursor keys thou this apparently might be re-jigged in the Q1 update (thou I wasn't told they are coming, just that they are looking at solving this….)

The only thing missing is office messenger link up, all the sharepoint stuff is there.