Downtrodden RIM: Dell Kicks BlackBerry to the Curb

Research In Motion is trying to downplay the impact of computer-maker Dell cutting 25,000 employees off from their BlackBerry handsets. But no matter how you look at it, Dells move doesnt bode well for RIM, much as RIM might try to spin the situation to the contrary.

Dell says itll save 25 percent in mobile communications costs by getting rid of BlackBerry phones and services, switching instead to the Windows Phone 7-powered Dell Venue Pro. In an e-mail to the Wall Street Journal, however, RIMs senior marketing flack disagreed.

“We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity,” Mark Guibert told the Journal.

Guibert said once all purchasing, deployment and support costs are considered, as well as service charges, Dell probably wont realize any savings. Dell wouldnt comment to the Journal.

Whatever Dells motivation, the fact remains that RIM is being forced to say goodbye to 25,000 corporate customers (many of whom are sure to react poorly to Dells switch). This is a loss RIM can ill afford. The BlackBerry maker continues to hemorrhage market share to Android-based devices and, of course, the Apple iPhone.

Shares of RIM dropped 2.84 percent by 2:05 p.m. Eastern, to $55.49.

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