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Yahoo snubs BlackBerry to offer staff free iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3

17 Sep 2012
Apple iPhone 5 front featuring 4G and 4in screen

Yahoo staff have been offered the choice of a free iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 or Nokia Lumia 920 by chief executive Marissa Mayer, in a move that will see the firm ditch BlackBerry as their corporate device of choice.

In a memo sent to staff on Friday and obtained by BusinessInsider, Mayer said that she wants staff to be able to identify with their users by ensuring they are using the same sort of devices.

"As of today, Yahoo is moving off of blackberries [sic] as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries," wrote Mayer in the memo.

"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."

As such, the firm will now offer a wide range of phones, including the forthcoming iPhone 5, as well as paying for their contracts. Other handsets on offer include the HTC one X and the HTC Evo.

The snub to BlackBerry devices, which Mayer essentially claims are now not considered smartphones, is another blow for manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) which is seeing its enterprise chops slowly eroded by rivals.

However, the offer is another boost for Yahoo's workforce after the surprise appointment of Mayer in July. That appointment was seen by analysts as a bold move to help turn the company's fortunes around.

Yahoo is estimated to employ around 12,000 people, so at a rough estimate offering iPhones and other high-end phones worth around £500 and contract costs to its employees of around £30 per month over two years could cost upwards of £10m.

The allowance for staff comes after Microsoft chief executive promised its 94,000-strong workforce a free tablet, laptop and smartphone running Windows 8 software, at an estimated cost of between £80m and £100m.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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