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BlackBerry Revokes T-Mobile’s License to Sell Its Phones

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 9:53am
Ben Munson

BlackBerry today announced it will not be renewing T-Mobile’s license to sell BlackBerry products after it expires April 25, 2014.

In a blog post, BlackBerry promised that existing BlackBerry users on T-Mobile would not experience any lapse in support and that it would continue to support any customers who purchase BlackBerry devices from T-Mobile’s remaining inventory.

BlackBerry also pledged to work closely with its other carrier partners to provide a smooth transition for any BlackBerry consumers or business users who wish to transition to a new provider.

“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,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement. “We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned.”

We'll update the story when T-Mobile responds to our request for comment.

T-Mobile will no longer be able to sell BlackBerry devices and the revelation is likely due to a rift that popped up between the carrier and the OEM regarding a special offer T-Mobile sent to BlackBerry users via email. T-Mobile offered a special trade-in value for BlackBerry users who switched to an iPhone.

Following a backlash from BlackBerry loyalists, BlackBerry CEO issued a strongly worded blog post, expressing his outrage and denouncing T-Mobile’s deal.

“I can only guess that T-Mobile thought its ‘great offer for BlackBerry customers’ would be well received. T-Mobile could not have been more wrong,” Chen wrote.

T-Mobile responded to customer complaints and offered a $200 trade-in credit for any working BlackBerry devices but balked at Chen’s angry response.

“The premise of his article was that it's best for customers if we restrict the free flow of information and limit consumer choice. At T-Mobile we totally reject that premise,” T-Mobile CMO Mike Siervert wrote.

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