Yahoo staff given free iPhone 5s

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer is giving every staffer at the company an early Christmas present – an iPhone 5, or other smartphone.

In a big snub to RIM, the company is moving away from the BlackBerry as its standard corporate phone. Mayer even implied that the BlackBerry isn’t a smartphone, by saying the company was moving to smartphones instead.

“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,” says Mayer in an internal memo.

“Ideally, we’d like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do.”

Staff – including part-timers –  have a choice of six smartphones: the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3, the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE, Windows Phone 8and the Nokia Lumia 920. Mayer says the company will pay voice and data bills.

The BlackBerry, once the tool of choice for all self-respecting execs, now has a very small market share, even in the corporate enterprise market where it once dominated. Estimates vary as to its market share – but none puts it at anywhere near double figures.

New models and a new operating system are expected early next year, but may come too late to change the company’s fortunes.