Dell has announced that it will be replacing its 25,000 employees' current BlackBerry handsets with its own Venue Pro model and will be encouraging other companies to do the same.
When Windows Phone 7 and its accompanying handsets launched back in October, Dell impressed with its unusual portrait sliding qwerty keyboard, which is aimed at the same demographic as BlackBerry's handsets and Motorola's Droid Pro.
The changeover - which is due to start next week - will help Dell promote its handsets and save the company money, eliminating the cost of BlackBerry servers.
This will then be followed by a campaign to encourage their business clients to do the same. In another money saving move, Dell is reported to be in talks with T-Mobile USA to replace individual employee voice plans with minutes bought in bulk.
With a four-inch screen that slides up to reveal a full qwerty keyboard, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage as well as a 5mp camera and 8GB of internal memory, the Dell Venue Pro does make an attractive, if more costly, alternative to the BlackBerry handsets.
If the initiative catches on then it could leave many companies with piles of unwanted handsets. This would be bad news for RIM. Dell has already been entertaining ideas on what to do with its own surplus phones.
“We actually had a conversation last night around creating a site on eBay where we can sell these BlackBerry devices that employees return,” Brian Gladden from Dell said in an interview.
Dell has yet to make much of an impact in the smartphone market, its five-inch Streak tablet while a promising offering and positively received, failed to leave its mark.
The Dell Venue Pro looks like it could be a serious competitor and while the current model runs Window Phone 7, there has been talk of a variant that would run Android at some point in the future.