BlackBerry CEO ‘outraged’ over T-Mobile’s iPhone offer

By , Feb 19, 2014

tmobile iphone

It looks like T-Mobile’s targeted iPhone offer didn’t just upset BlackBerry fans. The Canadian handset-maker’s CEO John Chen says that he and his team are also outraged, especially since their long-time business partner didn’t contact them beforehand.

For those that missed it, T-Mobile has been sending out iPhone promos with the text “great offer for BlackBerry users,” and it caused quite the backlash on Twitter and other social networks from loyal fans. Here’s what Chen had to say about the ordeal…

From the official BlackBerry blog:

“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.

I can assure you that we are outraged too. What puzzles me more is that T-Mobile did not speak with us before or after they launched this clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion.”

Chen goes on to thank the BlackBerry user community and its loyal customers on T-Mobile, saying that their “passion motivates us every day as we navigate our turnaround.” As for the carrier, Chen says that he hopes they can find a way to work together.

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While T-Mobile has offered BlackBerry’s Q10 and Z10 handsets since they were introduced last year, they are no longer available in retail stores. Customers who want to purchase either device must order them online or on the phone and have them shipped.

The whole thing is interesting to me because one, it illustrates the challenge BlackBerry currently faces with carrier support, and two, it proves that the company still has a loyal following. I can’t remember the last time I saw John Legere showed contrition like this.

In response to the backlash, T-Mobile said yesterday that it is “happy to be a BlackBerry partner” and that it “apologizes for any confusion.” It also noted that it will be providing free, expedited shipping on BlackBerry devices as an additional courtesy to customers.

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  • Mika Salakka 

    People still buy BlackBerries? ….why?

    • sleeperjoe

      They make excellent door-stops and decorations at Back-in-Time parties. Other than that, I have no clue.

    • Hyr3m

      Because they’re much better than iPhones (although that’s not really hard).

      • theresonemorething

        shots fired.

      • Abi Manyu

        indeed, they are much better in collecting dust in lots of shelves everywhere

      • Hyr3m

        A bit like old iPhones people still cling on to even though they don’t use them anymore…
        I do have about 12 blackberries in the drawer next to me but that’s because I just gave everyone new Q10s :D

      • RarestName

        Can I have one?

      • Hyr3m

        Maybe if you can explain to these other guys why you’d like one ^^

      • RarestName

        Because it’s interesting :)

      • Rowan09

        So true. Man please spare me the joke.

      • Hyr3m

        He was asking for it …

      • blastingbigairs

        I agree, the Blackberry I use as a mud flap on my truck works much better than an iPhone would.

      • Hyr3m

        It’s either a very small truck or you’re using a playbook.
        Come on… I’m sure you can do better than this lame joke…

      • blastingbigairs

        The 11 downvotes your original very lame comment got speaks for itself. Please leave now.

    • Abi Manyu

      because some stupid peope do exist

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      To keep the company alive…there’s quite a lot of such people in the Apple eco system; whatever the company spits out, they buy without thinking.

  • RarestName

    So it’s okay for carriers to tell people to switch from the iPhone to an BlackBerry/Android phone, but it’s not if it’s the other way around?

    • Hyr3m

      When the tagline is “get the tools to do more”, telling people to switch from iPhone to something better actually makes sense. The other way around doesn’t really make any sense unless you change the tagline to something like “give up your tools to get a toy”.

      • Anthony

        How bored are you that you come on an iOS blog and make comments like this? I normally ignore it but I just can’t imagine being that bored to do this myself. Weird

      • Hyr3m

        very bored :D (slow week at work ^^)

      • RarestName

        “Doing more” is subjective.

      • Hyr3m

        and vague, indeed.

      • Rowan09

        Give me an example of better since you know it all buddy?

      • Hyr3m

        What do I mean by “something better” ? A windows phone, or an Android (>4.2), or a Blackberry (>10.2.1). Thanks for asking, mate :D

      • Rowan09

        Wouldn’t that be considered our opinion? Someone might thing a Treo is better than them all. Your a comedian.

      • Hyr3m

        I’ll take that as a compliment :)
        It’s all relative/subjective anyways…

  • Dani Hayes

    So a total of ten tweets were made to T-Mobile by these Blackberry users??

  • blastingbigairs

    Blackberry is what again???

  • blastingbigairs

    I use one for a mud flap on my truck, they are really durable in the snow.

  • sam

    because they are more secured than the NSA iphones and samsung?

  • Hyr3m

    Wanna post a 3rd comment paraphrasing the same message in another 2 hours ? xD
    (I posted a comment saying that it’s not really hard to have a device better than an iPhone, on a pro-apple blog, and I only got 11 downvotes along with 3 upvotes. I’ll take that as a success if you don’t mind :D)

  • Carsten Slot Hemso

    If blackberry’s were more innovative and up to date on technological enhancements it would still be a player on the market. But just like Nokia it shows that sticking to your formula is going to be your downfall. Stop being so ignorant Chen and get with the program. The possibilities in functionality and user experience are far more advanced on another platforms. BB is the dinosaur of mobile technology. Ship up or ship out. T-Mobile knows that and did what they had to do. Send a message to BB that they have to get working on offering WAY more then security. I myself can imagine that most companies want to create apps that enhances the productivity. BB is just not the platform to do so