In another blow to the future of RIM's Blackberry brand, Dell has announced it will terminate its corporate Blackberry contract and will give all of its employees brand new Dell mobile phones as a replacement. Every one of the 25,000 Dell employees who currently have a company-issued Blackberry will soon get a Dell Venue Pro, the company's first strong attempt at a corporate mobile phone for enterprise customers. It's a market that used to belong almost exclusively to Blackberry.
Blackberry is not exactly in a great position these days. Other companies, including banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co, have announced plans to scrub Blackberry service in exchange for Androids or iPhones. Just two years ago, the thought of giant companies not using Blackberry to power their enterprise mobile connections would have seemed ridiculous.
The Dell Venue Pro runs on Microsoft's new mobile phone platform, Windows Phone 7, and uses T-Mobile service.
Dell entered the smartphone market just last year and hasn't really made much of a splash. By making its entire company become familiar with its own brand, it should help define a mobile message for Dell.