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Drug kingpin Pfizer latest to move off BlackBerry to iOS, Android

updated 11:00 pm EST, Fri November 15, 2013

Company has 90,000 employees, most currently on BlackBerry

Like many federal agencies and other large businesses, Pfizer - one of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers with unprecedented influence in the healthcare industry - has asked its employees to transition away from BlackBerry phones and towards their choice of iOS or Android products instead. The company, in a memo announcing the change, said the transition was due to BlackBerry's "volatile state" and advised employees to make the change as soon as contracts allow.

Pfizer is said to still have a "huge" percentage of its 90,000 workers using BlackBerry, such as travelling medical representatives who visit doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to appraise them of the latest Pfizer products and services. The Canada-based BlackBerry has been shedding both individual users and institutional buyers since shortly after the arrival of the iPhone in 2007, and is now considered a minor player where it was once the top selling business-oriented brand of smartphone.

The company has resisted being broken up into pieces, but interest from other buyers has mostly centered on the company's patent portfolio rather than its products or 70-million-strong worldwide customer base. It recently rejected a takeover bid from Fairfax Capital after the latter could not secure funding, and was blocked from accepting a buyout offer from Chinese firm Lenovo. It is currently surviving on $1 billion in funding from investors, but at present has no clear plan to return to viability. Apple and Intel (among others) have been actively recruiting BlackBerry workers near the company's Ontario headquarters.

by MacNN Staff



  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    Businesses are slower to move off a burning platform, but they were heading in a straight line out the door.

    It's only the human condition where people judge the future by what's happening in the present, that allowed some to think the BBM concentrating on 'business' was a valid move. In the present some businesses are still on BB. But the phenomena that explains that, is it takes a while for business to move infrastructure to a new platform.

    BB lost because OS markets are networked markets, where it's important what other people do.
    If others have moved off a platform - businesses must do the same. Otherwise you are stuck on an island, with no developer support, and a partner company that is weak and cannot keep up with changes due to the overall size of their market not being large enough to support significant R&D.

    Yes, be independent in life - but yes, be cognizant of network science. Because it's real - and accurately describes the way the world works.

    You see almost no knowledge of the way things work in the articles here. It's all marketing fantasy.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    "Drug kingpin".


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