To say that RIM has had a tough time these past few months is an understatement, and today’s news probably won’t help raise the morale around Waterloo. According to AppleInsider, oilfield services giant Halliburton will soon be migrating their BlackBerry-toting workforce to run exclusively on a new fleet of iPhones.
I can also imagine the conversation now. “Sorry RIM, it’s not you, it’s us… alright, fine, it really is you.”
The news was sent out via an internal newsletter, which mentions that the reason for the switch was because the company “determined that the iOS platform offered the best capabilities, controls and security for application development.” It goes on to offer a basic timeline for the process — all 4,500 of Halliburton’s employee-operating BlackBerrys will be swapped for iPhones over the course of the next two years.
So what does this development mean for RIM? Not much at all, if Halliburton was the only company to jump ship. It’s clear that they’re not the only ones in search of some greener pastures — Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer pointed out during the company’s Q1 2012 earnings call that nearly all of the top Fortune 500 companies “now approve and support iPhones on their networks,” including Credit Suisse, Kimberly Clark, St. Jude Medical, and Nike.
Of course, that hardly means that all or even most of them will transition their workforce from one platform to the other. Still, it clearly shows that these companies are considering different, more compelling mobile options to help conduct their business. And with the first BlackBerry 10 device not slated to ship until much later this year, RIM may not have too many chances left to show off what they’re really capable of.
In the meantime, RIM continues to illustrate how serious they are about the enterprise market with the launch of initiatives like BlackBerry Cloud Services, which allows businesses using Microsoft Office 365 more fine-grained control over devices and their data. It’s clear that RIM isn’t going to give up their hard-won enterprise segment without a fight, but if their recently leaked roadmap is any indication, they’re running awfully low on bullets right now.