Dell plans to move its 25,000 employees from BlackBerry over to its own line of smartphones. Dell employees will be offered upcoming "Dell Venue Pro," which runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system in exchange for their BlackBerrys. Eventually, the company also will offer phones powered by Google's Android software.
The switch begins next week and will save the company about 25% in mobile communication costs, primarily by eliminating the need for BlackBerry servers, Brian Gladden of Dell said.
The company is also talking with T-Mobile USA about purchasing voice minutes and monthly data in bulk, rather than individual employee plans. Minutes and data that go unused by the company would carryover, Mr. Gladden said.
RIM dismissed Dell's move as a publicity stunt. "We find it highly unlikely that they'll actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity," said Mark Guibert.