BlackBerry cuts ties with T-Mobile after botched promotion

BlackBerry has decided not to renew T-Mobile's license to sell its products.
(Graeme Roy / Associated Press)

A promotion that went awry last month has led BlackBerry to cut ties with T-Mobile after numerous years of working together.

BlackBerry on Wednesday announced that it will not renew T-Mobile’s license to sell its products when it expires April 25.

“Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers,” BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement. “We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned.”

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T-Mobile offended the Canadian phone maker in February when it messaged its BlackBerry users with an offer to switch to the iPhone 5s for $0 down.

The Seattle carrier tried to make amends with a second promotion, offering BlackBerry users $200 in credit when they traded in their device for any new T-Mobile phone.

The move was a success for T-Mobile -- numerous users participated in the trade-in -- but it further embarrassed BlackBerry. Reports surfaced that most of the customers who traded in their BlackBerrys had switched to other devices.

BlackBerry said it is now working with other carrier partners to help any of its customers find alternatives for T-Mobile’s services if they wish. It also assured existing BlackBerry and T-Mobile customers that they will not be affected by Wednesday’s announcement.

“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,” Chen said.

T-Mobile could not be reached for comment.


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