Dell to Switch 25,000 Employee BlackBerrys to Dell WP7 Phones

Dell on Friday announced that is ditching all company BlackBerry devices and will be equipping 25,000 employees with the Venue Pro, Dell’s Windows Phone 7 device with a physical QWERTY keyboard, according to the Wall Street Journal. Eventually, the company also plans to offer employees a Dell Android phone.

The switchover begins next week, and Dell estimates it will save 25 percent of mobile communication costs because it will no longer use BlackBerry servers. Dell will additionally buy bulk data and voice services from T-Mobile, which is the U.S. carrier for the Venue Pro.

RIM shot back by saying that Dell likely wouldn’t save much money by switching because of the hardware and support costs involved with a major switch over. "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, RIM's senior vice president of corporate marketing, told the Journal.

When we did our full hands-on with the Dell Venue Pro at the Windows Phone 7 launch, we liked what we saw. The device has a 4.1-inch AMOLED screen, loud twin speakers, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. What troubled us was that T-Mobile didn’t appear to offer the ability to buy the device in stores, but just through Dell’s website. We do know one thing, though, concerning sales: Dell will at least sell 25,000 units. To itself.