Dell to kick CrackBerry habit

Computer maker's 25,000 employees to trade their RIM smartphones for Dell device

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A senior executive at Dell Inc. tells the Wall Street Journal that the computer maker is getting rid of the 25,000 BlackBerrys used by its workforce and replacing them with Dell's own Venue Pro smartphone.

Dell chief financial officer Brian Gladden told the WSJ the company can save 25 percent in mobile communications costs by dumping the BlackBerry servers it now uses. The conversion is slated to start next week.

Image credit: edans/flickr

But it gets worse (for RIM, that is):

Dell will begin marketing a service to its business clients within two weeks aimed at helping them make a similar switch. ...

[T]he move underscores the threat the increasingly crowded field of powerful devices poses to RIM's long-running hold on corporate customers. A number of companies are beginning to support other devices, and Dell's own switch will leave a pile of unused BlackBerrys.

The WSJ couldn't reach RIM for a comment. Gladden said he hasn't informed RIM of the plans and that "it's not clear to them the scope of what we're doing."

I think it is now.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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