BlackBerry CEO John Chen says two companies’ strategies are no longer compatible, after T-Mobile offered users a trade-in for a new iPhone
BlackBerry and T-Mobile USA have parted ways, two months after it was revealed that the operator was offering customers with one of the struggling Canadian manufacturer’s smartphones a free upgrade to an iPhone 5S.
John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, said the two firms’ strategies were no longer compatible and that T-Mobile’s license to sell BlackBerry products would not be renewed when it expires on 25 April.
“BlackBerry has had a positive relationship with T-Mobile for many years. Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers,” he explained. “We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned.”
T-Mobile customers with a BlackBerry device have been assured that they shouldn’t experience any difference to their service and support and BlackBerry has promised it will work closely with the operator to ensure that this remains so.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm has also said it is working with other US operators to provide consumers and businesses with alternatives should they decide they wish to continue using BlackBerry smartphones on another network.
“We are deeply grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers and will do everything in our power to provide continued support with your existing carrier or ensure a smooth transition to our other carrier partners,” continued Chen.
The spat started in February, when Chen, and apparently many BlackBerry users, expressed outrage at a T-Mobile promotion that promised to let BlackBerry users upgrade to a new iPhone handset at a discounted price if they traded in their smartphone. Chen called the offer “ill-conceived” and misjudged and was heartened at the apparent loyalty of BlackBerry die-hards.
T-Mobile responded to the row by offering users an additional $50 for anyone who chose to trade-in for a newer BlackBerry handset, such as the Z10 or Q10, but this was apparently not enough to encourage customers to remain loyal. It was reported that the operator witnessed 15 times the normal amount of BlackBerry trade-ins following the promotion.
Earlier this year at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, BlackBerry unveiled two new smartphones, the Z3 and the Q20, and announced major updates to its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) mobile management platform and a new version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for enterprises.
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