Mayer To Yahoo!: You Can Have Any Cellphone You Want, As Long As It’s Not Blackberry

Excuse the belated chortle here but it bears noting that Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, seems to have pushed the old maxim of a “new broom sweeps clean” all the way into the darkest recesses of Yahoo. To wit, consider the note the BI found from Mayer to her staff.

We have a very exciting update to share with you today – we are announcing Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun! As of today, Yahoo is moving off of blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries. A few weeks ago, we said that we would look into smartphone penetration rates globally and take those rates into account when deciding on corporate phones. Ideally, we’d like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do.

The list includes the iPhone 5, the Nokia Lumia, and some very nice Android phones. It is very clear in its move away from Blackberry.

Blackberry as a platform is dead and this is just another nail in the coffin. Hate all you want (you will in comments) but as we move into a post Windows 8 world and on the real dawn of Windows Phone, we will see three major players with Blackberry bobbing in the eddies behind them. Am I saying that Blackberry is a bad platform? No. Am I saying that it doesn’t offer the interfaces – touch-based, graphically rich, and app oriented – that others offer? Yes.

The worst thing Blackberry did was cater to a business class of consumer that, in the end, abandoned them. By hoping that the old model of tapping out emails on a keyboard would sustain them (and it will for approximately another two years) RIM has avoided change. If it ain’t broke, the old Canadian saying goes, don’t fix it.

But now it’s too late to fix it. Microsoft will tear RIM down to the ground. We can whine all we want about Windows 8 and its odd UI. We can complain about Windows Phone unavailability. But Microsoft still runs the office and RIM is just visiting.

What Mayer is essentially saying is that she wants her employees to understand consumers’ “free time” and not their work time. When an army of employees is relegated to “having” to use BB while they use everything but in their real lives, the dichotomy is quite problematic. They think one way, the RIM way, at work and think another way, the non-RIM way, at home. This cultural split is dangerous for a consumer-facing company.

Google employees all get Nexus phones and Apple employees, presumably, get iPhones 5. I pity the poor RIM folks who have to settle for Blackberries. Maybe that, too, will soon change.