Home Depot drops 10,000 BlackBerrys from employee belts

BlackBerry logoHome Depot confirmed on Monday that it would be replacing 10,000 BlackBerrys issued to its executives and managers with iPhones—sending BlackBerry’s stock price tumbling by more than 4.6 percent at the end of the trading day. Further losses came in during after-hours trading.

Things have been rough for the smartphone pioneer in recent months. The company, recently rebranded as BlackBerry, has pinned its future on the Z10 handset, which debuts in the United States in March 2013. (The Q10 has been further delayed until May or June 2013.)

Home Depot is not the first organization to switch away from the former device of choice for businesses. Back in October, 17,000 federal employees also made the switch from BlackBerry to the iPhone. A Home Depot spokesperson did not say whether or not his company’s decision was made before or after the BlackBerry 10 launch.

"We are replacing the current base of BlackBerry technology with iPhone, but these are not the mobile devices used in our stores," Stephen Holmes told Reuters.

Not surprisingly, BlackBerry continues to express confidence that businesses will sign on to its new strategy.

"We have over 2,700 unique businesses in North America already registered for our BlackBerry 10 Ready Program," Amy McDowell, a spokeswoman for the company, also told Reuters. "We are confident that BlackBerry is, and will continue to be, the best solution for corporations managing large smartphone deployments."

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: BlackBerry, RIM, smartphones

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