Light Reading

BlackBerry's Chen Lashes Out at T-Mobile Offer

Dan Jones
2/19/2014
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Uh oh, new BlackBerry CEO John Chen is not happy about a T-Mobile campaign trying to tempt BlackBerry users onto its network with the offer of an iPhone.

T-Mobile US Inc. sent out the offer last week. BlackBerry 's CEO has responded in the form of an irate-sounding blog on the company site. (See BlackBerry Shakes Up Its C-Level.)

Chen writes that Blackberry was "outraged" by the offer and puzzled that T-Mobile didn't speak to them about it before launching the campaign:

    I want to thank our loyal customers for your commitment to BlackBerry. By expressing your outrage directly to T-Mobile ‎through tweets, calls and comments in the media and on blog posts, you sent a powerful message that T-Mobile could not ignore. Your partnership with our brand is appreciated by all of us at BlackBerry, and draws a sharp contrast with the behavior of our longtime business partner.

T-Mobile's rambunctious CEO also reacted to the user response. On Saturday, he tweeted: "BlackBerry users, I'm hearing you loud and clear." (See Is SoftBank Ready to Reunite With Legere?)

Legere later added that T-Mobile will "continue to support" BlackBerry.

Chen, however, is clearly not happy with the operator. "Finally, to T-Mobile, I would like to remind you that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both BlackBerry and T-Mobile," he wrote as a end salvo to the blog. "I hope we can find a way forward that allows us to serve our shared customers once again."

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/24/2014 | 1:13:28 PM
Re : BlackBerry's Chen Lashes Out at T-Mobile Offer
Okay that simply is not the way to do campaigning about a network. That might cause backlash from the ever growing mobile community, just as predicted, BB fans did not like the sudden offer and resorted to say "no thanks".  T-Mobile doesn't realize that this approach could possible hurt their future marketing, people are bound to know about this and they won't like this.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/20/2014 | 12:14:44 PM
Re: Safe bet?
@ Dan:

When I was at BlackBerry World at Orlando two years back, I was unpleasantly surprised that apart from two features of BB10, they had nothing new to offer to the world. Samsung & Apple were focused on R&D. BB was just relying on operator relationships. That was just 2012!
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 12:00:56 PM
Re: Safe bet?
Definitely something to keep an eye on.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/20/2014 | 11:51:05 AM
Re: Safe bet?
@Sarah:

In my opinion T-Mobile is doing the right thing for its business. This will prompt other carriers to dump BlackBerry too. Beginning of an end. BlackBerry need to re-invent itself. It should borrow a page from successful turnaround stories like IBM & GE.
RitchBlasi
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RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 6:19:48 PM
Re: Safe bet?
I think if you look across all the carriers AT&T and Verizon have the largest share of BB customers, especially since T-Mo was never really a biz play. Another way for Legere to pull customers away from the top two. Unlike the widely successful "no-contract" contract program and the hype of the international 2G plans - which pulled the wool over consumers eyes but not for those in the industry - this is a really good strategy for reeling in new adds...and most likely post-paid as well.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 3:54:34 PM
Re: Safe bet?
Yeah, holding on to consumer handsets just really doesn't make sense. Everyone realizes it but BB, it seems.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 3:46:47 PM
Re: Safe bet?
I would've expected Chen to make more noise about moving forward with enterprise software by now for sure if he wants to turn the ship around.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 3:32:24 PM
Safe bet?
Awhile back T-Mobile came out and said it wouldn't carry BlackBerrys in its stores anymore, but would still support them online. That's more than any other carrier has done, but it seemed reasonable. This campaign seems over-the-top, like most things Legere does. I guess it's safe to say it's betting against BlackBerry's comeback. A safe bet?
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