Home Depot can do it, and the iPhone can help. In an exclusive story late on Friday, AppleInsider reported that home improvement retailer Home Depot plans to replace thousands of Blackberry smartphones issued to corporate and managerial staff with versions of Apple’s iPhone 4S.
People familiar with the big-box retailer’s plans said the company has already begun the process of abandoning the Blackberry platform for Apple’s iOS, specifically for store managers and all corporate level employees.
A representative for the home improvement chain confirmed the news to AppleInsider, saying the move will displace roughly 10,000 Blackberry smartphones.
“We are replacing our current base of BlackBerry technology with iPhones,” the representative said, specifying that the move applies only to store managers, district managers, other corporate-level staffers, and field ops.
The rep went on to say that the initiative will not as yet impact the approximately 60,000 rugged Motorola smartphones (34,000+ so-called “First Phones” and 25,000+ “First Phone Jrs”) used by store employees.
The Georgia-based home improvement chain had 2,252 stores across the United States, Canada, China, and Mexico, as of the third quarter of 2012, making it the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer. Managers of those location will see their current Blackberry handsets being replaced with iPhones in the coming weeks.
Home Depot is just the latest in a series of corporations and government agencies to dump the BlackBerry in recent months.
In October of last year, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency announced it would be dropping the BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone for its more than 17,600 employees. Similar announcements were made by the National Transportation Safety Board, and Australia’s Treasury Department.