updated 12:10 am EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Latest blow in a series of bad news for RIM
RIM has taken another shot in what it hopes will be the road to recovery. Qantas Airlines has announced plans to replace all 1,300 corporate-sponsored BlackBerry devices in its employ with iPhones. Not only is the iPhone favored by upper management and polled staff members over the Blackberry, the move is expected to save Australia's national airline millions of dollars per year.
"The iPhone offers a user-friendly interface and simple access to emails, contacts and calendars, as well as meeting all Qantas's security requirements," said Chief Information Officer Paul Jones. "Transition from the Blackberry to the iPhone is part of Qantas's broader mobility strategy, and once complete will result in significant cost savings.
In regards to other devices supplied by crew members, Jones added that Qantas is "working towards being able to provide support for Android devices on a 'bring-your-own' basis."
IBM Australia has recently ditched the platform as well, and savings of $1.4 million per year for 500 users is expected. Gartner analyst Geoff Johnson estimates the total cost of managing a single corporate BlackBerry is approximately $2600 per user per year, including the cost of the hardware.
in an inadvertent mirroring of the airline's move, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was quoted by The Australian newspaper in a meeting with the country's business leaders that she remembered reading an article about the fall of BlackBerry from a market-dominating 80 percent to 10 percent because it hadn't kept pace with the trends in the market. She hoped that Australian businesses would be vigilant enough to not make a similar mistake.
Good news has been scarce for the troubled Canadian technology company lately. RIM was found liable for infringing on Mformation Technology's patents and owes $147 million to the mobile management software developer. A mass exodus of executives has been in progress since April, the BB10 revision to the operating system has been pushed back until next year, and the fallen giant's finances are in disarray. On the other hand, the BlackBerry app store has reached its three billionth download from two billion in less than a third of the time it took to reach its first billion. [via The Australian (subscription required)]