The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is the latest to join a long list of companies to drop their Blackberries for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhones.
The company will replace its 10,000 BlackBerry smartphones utilized by its store managers, district managers and other corporate employees with the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) phones. The change does not include the 60,000 mobile devices used by the company’s other store employees. A Home Depot representative confirmed the news via Apple Insider with the following, “We are replacing our current base of BlackBerry technology with iPhones.”
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This is expected to take place over the next few weeks for the managers.
This is a tough loss for BlackBerry as Home Depot, through the 2012’s third quarter, had 2,252 retail stores in the United States, Canada, China, and Mexico. This made it the world’s biggest home improvement specialty retailer.
On a global scale, The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is the No. 5 largest retailer. For its most recent quarter, it earned a $947 million profit from its $18.13 billion revenues.
Once the standard for mobile enterprise technology, large corporation continue to drop BlackBerry for its employees’ use. Last October, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said it would get rid of their BlackBerrys. The agency said it bought $2.1 million iPhones for its 17,600-plus employees. Other agencies soon followed with announcements by the National Transportation Safety Board and recently from abroad, Australia’s Treasury Department.
News of The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD)’s departure hit BlackBerry shares hard on Monday as they fell 6 percent to trade as low as $15.29. It has slightly rebounded and is only trading down 4 percent to $15.79.
It’s been a back and forth year so far for the company’s stock. Earlier, it jumped 39 percent due to the optimism for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system launch. Even though there were good reviews for its new flagship phone, BlackBerry’s stock fell after the news of these changes.
According to Bloomberg, the stock’s decline could be attributed to two factors:
- BlackBerry did not say when U.S. phone sales would begin and the phone’s cost is either
- $149 or $199–much higher than Android phones with their $99, $49, or zero cost.
The company already launched the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone last week in Canada. It was very well received and RIM went so far as to say it represented the best debut for a BlackBerry.
In a statement last Wednesday, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s chief executive, Thorsten Heins said, “In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50 [per cent] better than any other launch day in our history in Canada.”
But will it receive the same warm welcome in the United States?