RIM virtually invented mobile e-mail, making it the phone of choice for companies when it rolled out its first BlackBerry devices more than a decade ago. But its market share has evaporated as consumers flock to iPhones and other devices based on Google Inc’s (GOOG.O) Android system.
Qantas said it was replacing 1,300 company-issued Blackberrys with iPhones and the savings at the end of the program would be about A$1.4 million ($1.43 million). IBM was also reported to be dropping RIM for iPhones for 500 employees in Australia.
“Transition from the Blackberry to the iPhone is part of Qantas’ broader mobility strategy and once complete will result in significant cost savings,” the airline said.
“Savings will come from simplifying the infrastructure supporting the devices, from the devices themselves and from the data agreements reached with our providers.”
RIM last month posted its first operating loss in eight years and it was much deeper than expected. The company also said it was cutting 5,000 jobs, almost a third of its workforce, as it struggles to survive.
Last week RIM said Ray Gillenwater, the head of its Australian and New Zealand operations, had stepped down just months after being promoted to the job, joining a list of senior executives leaving the company.
($1 = 0.9757 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Matt Driskill)