Last month, new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer sent an email to all Yahoo employees informing them that they would be getting a free smartphone. There was only one catch: the device could not be a BlackBerry. The idea was for Yahoo employees to use the same types of phones that their users do. Employees could choose top-tier Android, iOS, and even Windows Phones, including the new iPhone 5, but BlackBerry was cruelly and noticeably left out of the offer.
This week, Bloomberg reported that government consulting company Booz Allen has dropped BlackBerry as its phone provider. Instead, the company’s 25,000 employees will be moved to Android or iPhone devices in the coming months, according to a Booz Allen spokesman. In addition, the company’s dedicated BlackBerry server will be decommissioned, meaning employees who bring their own BlackBerry phone to work won’t be able to access their email with the device.
These companies are just the latest U.S. companies to ditch RIM in favor of Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone devices. It begs the question of how RIM hopes to make BlackBerry 10 a success if businesses have already given their employees iPhones or Android devices. The company is currently banking on its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS to bring the company back to prominence in Western markets.
The move away from BlackBerry devices also highlights just how secure other smartphone platforms now are (or at least how secure they are now perceived to be). BlackBerry was the choice of businesses just five years ago because its security features were leagues beyond the competition.