Dell to replace BlackBerry corporate phones with Android, Windows Phone 7

blackberryThe computer tech giant, Dell Corporation, will be abandoning RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone platform, in favor of its own smartphones that are powered by Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system, and Google’s Android mobile OS.

The company will start by replacing 25,000 BlackBerry smartphones with the company’s own Venture Pro smartphone, the company’s latest Windows Phone 7 device. Dell will later give employees the option of using smartphones powered by Google Android.

Dell says it would save a significant amount of money by avoiding hefty BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses, but the company at the same time would be operating at a less than optimal level on mobile security, and would forego the benefits of the seamless BlackBerry Messaging service.

A senior Dell employee at the company’s headquarters who commented on condition of anonymity said he was skeptical of the cost savings, and that not all people at the company welcomed the transition, citing the ease of use of the BlackBerry platform.

The announcement comes as the launch date nears for the debut of Windows Phone 7 smartphones.

With Dell making the change, it is illustrating to prospective clients, big and small corporations, that the cost advantages outweigh the marginal benefits of BES.

It also illustrates that competing platforms such as Google Android offer more flexibility with a wider assortment of applications that could increase productivity.

Windows Phone 7 smartphones come preinstalled with a mobile version of Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Outlook, the personal information management system used by corporations (and consumers) to manage calendar, contacts, and emails all from one application with sync capabilities through Microsoft Exchange server.

Other platforms, like Apple’s iOS and Google Android, do not have mobile versions of Microsoft Office, since it is proprietary software developed by Microsoft.

However, both Apple iOS and Google Android support other less popular services, such as Google Calendar, which offers out of the box two-way sync, something that BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) users (largely consumers) finally got access to on October 18 when RIM expanded the feature beyond BES.

The vice president of RIM’s marketing division dismissed Dell’s move as a publicity stunt in a statement, saying he thought it is unlikely Dell would actually save money with the transition.

Large corporations rely on RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to manage administrative IT-policies on smartphones, and for communication needs such as BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry messaging through BlackBerry Messenger, and secure e-mail and phone communication.

RIM’s technology offers the most secure mobile messaging that routes messages through its proprietary servers, and has even prompted foreign governments to demand access to its systems to monitor information for national security reasons.

RIM’s declining market share is largely attributable to newer platforms from top rivals such as Apple and Google (and maybe even Microsoft in the near future), which offer a superior user experience with sleeker more advanced smartphones.

The culprit to RIM’s downward trend is its aging operating system.

In the short run, the company released BlackBerry 6, an enhanced operating system that finally brought web browsing on par with other devices with the adoption of the WebKit rendering engine.

The company also implemented new social features that allow users to receive push notifications from various social networks and instant messaging services all from one place.

As part of a broader plan to entice the consumer segment, according to a confidential source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans were not made public, RIM will transition its BlackBerry operating system to the recently acquired open-source QNX operating system, the same system used by the company’s PlayBook tablet computer which is slated for a launch in the first quarter of next year.

RIM even confirmed it would give away free PlayBook devices to developers who got their apps approved in App World before the launch date of its PlayBook tablet.

The company’s stock has been trending down for the last seven months, when the shares were trading at about $75 per share.

The stock recently increased in price after investors were bullish on the company’s PlayBook tablet.

During last Friday’s trading session, the RIM stock (TSE:RIM) closed down nearly 3-percent to $55.65 per share on increased uncertainty related on future expected earnings as Dell announced it would abandon BlackBerry, coupled with the prospect of RIM losing other top clients such as financial intuitions like Bank of America, among others who have reportedly been considering switching.


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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
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  • Naz

    Big deal! Dell started to make smart phone almost a year ago. Now they will use their own which means they do not trust their own phone. For security and reliability Blackberry is 2nd to none

    Naz

  • Anonymous

    Dell started producing cellphones, and now they’re going to eat their own dog food. This only makes sense. If they didn’t do this, I would say something is seriously wrong with Dell.

    Moving on, QNX isn’t open source. People can view the source code, but they can’t change it, which isn’t open source. (http://www.opensource.org/node/195) Open source implies the source code can be freely modified and distributed, with restrictions, by anyone. QNX is closed and proprietary.

    RIM is in transition, and it will be interesting to see how the QNX acquisition plays out. I can’t think of a better base for the next BlackberryOS to be on, and I’m excited to see what they produce.

  • Anonymous

    Dell started producing cellphones, and now they’re going to eat their own dog food. This only makes sense. If they didn’t do this, I would say something is seriously wrong with Dell.

    Moving on, QNX isn’t open source. People can view the source code, but they can’t change it, which isn’t open source. (http://www.opensource.org/node/195) Open source implies the source code can be freely modified and distributed, with restrictions, by anyone. QNX is closed and proprietary.

    RIM is in transition, and it will be interesting to see how the QNX acquisition plays out. I can’t think of a better base for the next BlackberryOS to be on, and I’m excited to see what they produce.

  • RIM hata

    HAR HAR HAR
    Can’t wait to see RIM FAIL.

    • http://business2press.com Hercules K

      Why don’t you like RIM so much?

    • http://business2press.com Hercules K

      Why don’t you like RIM so much?

  • RIM hata

    HAR HAR HAR
    Can’t wait to see RIM FAIL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/swert Scott Wert

    God I frakking hate blackberry any dumbass that thinks blackberries rule is a gay retard.

    Apple
    Android
    Microsoft Mobile
    Symbian

    ALL listed above syncs with activesync / PUSH techology RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Dingleberries on the other hand, you have to have exchange setup (duh) and then here comes the costs for a BES. what is it 3500 bucks for stand alone server install with 10 user license? If you have more than 10 users in your company that still wants to use a god damn blackberry for some ungodly reason, then you will need to fork out a shit ton more cash for more licenses. Activesync on the other hand which by the way is built right in to exchange and is free, is a seemless easy config and setup.

    Screw your crap ass dingleberry. oh if you want to sync with an exchange server using some crappy software that links to outlook (redirector) say good bye to that with blackberry desktop manager 6.0. yeah no thanks.

    Dell dropping blackberry like a frakking rock FTW

  • http://www.facebook.com/swert Scott Wert

    God I frakking hate blackberry any dumbass that thinks blackberries rule is a gay retard.

    Apple
    Android
    Microsoft Mobile
    Symbian

    ALL listed above syncs with activesync / PUSH techology RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Dingleberries on the other hand, you have to have exchange setup (duh) and then here comes the costs for a BES. what is it 3500 bucks for stand alone server install with 10 user license? If you have more than 10 users in your company that still wants to use a god damn blackberry for some ungodly reason, then you will need to fork out a shit ton more cash for more licenses. Activesync on the other hand which by the way is built right in to exchange and is free, is a seemless easy config and setup.

    Screw your crap ass dingleberry. oh if you want to sync with an exchange server using some crappy software that links to outlook (redirector) say good bye to that with blackberry desktop manager 6.0. yeah no thanks.

    Dell dropping blackberry like a frakking rock FTW

  • Nomail
  • Nomail
  • http://siddharthbalaravi.com Siddharth Balaravi

    Eating their own dog food apart, I think this is a silly move. While the cost justification might be legitimate, concerns with security on WP7 can far outweigh this cost offset. Given my past experience with the buggy WM6 and 6.5 it would be an understatement to state that RIM probably offers the best bang for the buck when it comes to enterprise deployment and integration. The problems that I mentioned about Windows Phone might not be valid for Android. However, I suspect if Android can integrate as seamlessly as BES to offer any substantial short-to-medium term benefits. All the same, I’d be interested to see how this experiment works out for Dell.

  • http://siddharthbalaravi.com Siddharth Balaravi

    Eating their own dog food apart, I think this is a silly move. While the cost justification might be legitimate, concerns with security on WP7 can far outweigh this cost offset. Given my past experience with the buggy WM6 and 6.5 it would be an understatement to state that RIM probably offers the best bang for the buck when it comes to enterprise deployment and integration. The problems that I mentioned about Windows Phone might not be valid for Android. However, I suspect if Android can integrate as seamlessly as BES to offer any substantial short-to-medium term benefits. All the same, I’d be interested to see how this experiment works out for Dell.

  • http://www.intellectsoft.co.uk/blackberry_application_development.html Blackberry development

    BB has a very tought period. Very! And it should change itself greatly to become competitive. But I don’t see its real desire to! May be for somebody it is a profitable busuiness?

  • http://www.best-bingo-games.com Online Bingo

    i love the RIM most, i have used Google’s phone and Windows (for sure) and I think RIM is much more friendly and way too good then these phones, dont know about all the people…

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