Blackberry has officially announced that it will not be¬†renewing its licensing agreement with T-Mobile US to sell Blackberry products¬†when the license expires later this month on April 25.
Last February, T-Mobile offered give to discounts to customers¬†who upgraded their Blackberries to iPhones, which prompted Blackberry CEO John Chen¬†to write a blog post expressing his outrage of the service provider’s move.¬†T-Mobile attempted to do some damage control by offering customers $250 if they¬†upgraded their older Blackberry to a newer model, but also offered the same¬†users $200 if they chose another manufacturer. All this led to 94 percent of¬†T-Mobile’s Blackberry users switching to a different phone brand and ultimately¬†led to today’s announcement.
Current T-Mobile customers using Blackberries shouldn’t be¬†affected by the change, as Blackberry has promised to still provide the¬†“best possible customer service” to those customers. T-Mobile will¬†also still be able to sell the Blackberry devices they still have in their¬†inventory but will no longer be receiving new models from the smartphone¬†manufacturer.
‚ÄúBlackBerry 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. We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when¬†our business strategies are aligned,‚ÄĚ said BlackBerry CEO and Executive Chair,¬†John Chen.¬†‚ÄúWe 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.”
Moving forward, Blackberry is working to get their devices¬†to consumers and business users through other carriers (their products are also¬†currently available through Verizon) but as CEO Chen has said, a reunion with¬†T-Mobile isn’t impossible.
Blackberry also recently released an update to its¬†BBM messaging app that introduced the use of stickers and opening of the BBM¬†Shop. The company also enabled group photo sharing with the update. Blackberry has¬†been trying to push its BBM service by most recently announcing that the app¬†will be coming to Windows Phone as well as making the service available on the¬†iOS and Android last year.