Australian supermarket chain Woolworths is dropping the BlackBerry handsets used by employees in many of its more than 800 locations in favor of iPhones. The company is in the process of gathering the staff’s remaining 550 BlackBerrys, which will then be replaced by iPhone 5s. Australian wireless provider Optus inked the deal with Woolworths.
The change is part of a larger shift in the company to rely on Apple’s hardware for its mobile needs. After Woolworths distributed nearly 900 iPads to store managers during a recent conference in Sydney, productivity reportedly went up considerably. So, when the company determined its collection of aging BlackBerrys warranted replacement, leaning on Apple once again was likely a no-brainer.
Of course, while the news is a plus for Apple, things aren’t looking nearly so bright for RIM. Once the go-to for business communication technology, the company’s BlackBerry line has been steadily losing ground to iOS and Android for several years.