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Mobile's Big Cyber Monday: RIM's Not Merry

Cyber Monday means mobile Monday for many buyers this year. Are you finally ready to trade in your beloved BlackBerry?
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If you're a gadget person, this holiday season offers plenty of temptation, from new tablets to a bigger-than-ever array of phones. But for RIM, this holiday season looks to deliver more of the same lumps that have been coming all year. As InformationWeek's Fritz Nelson notes, enterprise IT has finally "loosened its death-grip" on BlackBerry. That leaves those of you seeking a new phone that will work for work and play with three main choices: iPhone, Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone 7.

Nelson, a longtime BlackBerry fan, spent several weeks with all three of these top rivals. Don't miss his in-depth look at life with each of the phones--and the reasons why he went with the phone that Jobs built.

You must be sure that your enterprise IT team is fully ready to explain the rules and handle the wave of devices that will arrive from now until holiday time, as people treat themselves to those new gadgets. That's not new. But what is new is increased attention by the C-suite on your overall mobile device management strategy, both in terms of cost and completeness.

And as columnist Craig Mathias points out, you have more options, but a lack of industry standards as you craft your complete mobile management plan: "Is mobile device management something one operates in one's data center, a service one buys from a carrier or operator, a service provided by a third party on a device/network-independent basis, or perhaps an open-systems mix-and-match solution based on standards that--oh, wait, we really don't have standards here yet," he writes. "My mistake."

There's not a lot of good news for T-Mobile fans this Cyber Monday. As InformationWeek's Eric Zeman reported last week, T-Mobile is running low on moves if the AT&T acquisition doesn't come to pass. On Thanksgiving, AT&T showed it is willing to go to great lengths to salvage the T-Mobile bid, even as AT&T officially said that it had withdrawn its merger application from the FCC.

Are you wondering just how many Kindle Fires will be walking in your enterprise's door? Amazon is being coy about the precise number of Kindle Fire tablets that it has moved since Black Friday. Amazon will only say that "it sold four times as many Kindle products on Black Friday as it did last year, and that Kindle Fire, which features a color touchscreen, topped all Kindle sales," InformationWeek's Paul McDougall reports.

It's too early to judge exactly how the Amazon and Apple tablet sales contest will play out when the dust settles after December 25. That Target reports the lower-priced Kindle Fire is selling briskly with its shoppers is not a surprise. But one player that looks out of the game is RIM, with retailers pulling the PlayBook from inventory. "A check of Best Buy's site early Monday showed that the devices were still listed, but not currently available for Web purchase or store pick up--a sign that the PlayBook may turn out to be the real Thanksgiving turkey," McDougall notes.

Laurianne McLaughlin is editor-in-chief for Follow her on Twitter at @lmclaughlin.

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