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BlackBerry cuts ties with T-Mobile, signals new carrier-independent business strategy

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Beleaguered handset maker BlackBerry on Tuesday said it would be severing ties with U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile, suggesting the company is reducing reliance on carriers to sell product.

Q10
BlackBerry Q10. | Source: BlackBerry


As noted by The Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry's unexpected decision to not renew its contract with T-Mobile is a departure from handset maker's usual strategy of leaning on carrier marketing to drive sales. The company last year announced plans to discontinue service fees applied to carriers for routing BB Messenger traffic through its own servers.

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

The move comes some two months after company CEOs exchanged barbs over a promotion for Apple's iPhone 5. At the time, T-Mobile sent out emails detailing a "great offer for BlackBerry customers," suggesting they switch over to Apple's smartphone. In a post to BlackBerry's official blog in February, Chen expressed "outrage" at T-Mobile, which apparently did not discuss the deal prior to sending out the promotional emails.

While Tuesday's announcement was not based solely on the iPhone 5 flap, BlackBerry's shift in strategy can be viewed as symptomatic of the firm's struggle to remain relevant in a quickly-changing smartphone landscape. Even top-level executives are jumping ship, including SVP of Software Sebastien Marineau-Mes, who was sued to fulfill his contract terms with BlackBerry after being poached by Apple last year.

With a less than one-percent share of the U.S. smartphone market, which according to research firm IDC is down drastically from about 50 percent five years ago, the Canadian company is seemingly flailing about in what could be its final death throes.

In usual form, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter, offering a blunt -- if not brusque -- commentary on the situation.

"We value all customers but this is 1+% of our base total and a small fraction of what we add quarterly," Legere said. In a follow-up tweet directed at a follower, the executive said, "I can't, for the life of me, understand why @BlackBerry would take choices away from customers."

For its part, BlackBerry promised to work with T-Mobile to ensure current customers are unaffected by the contract cancellation, but it has yet to outline a solution that will cover revenue lost by the contract non-renewal.
post #2 of 31

carrier-independent business strategy

 

Read: We’re going bankrupt, you know we’re going bankrupt, we know we’re going bankrupt; we’ll just slip out the back while everyone’s looking the other way.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 31

anyone else hear a toilet flushing sound?

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post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Read: We’re going bankrupt, you know we’re going bankrupt, we know we’re going bankrupt; we’ll just slip out the back while everyone’s looking the other way.

Well, everyone but the shareholders.

post #5 of 31

Without a carrier, who is going to pretend to try to sell them?

post #6 of 31

I was reading another account of the exchange where T-Mobile said that their demographic is very young and those customers just don't care about Blackberry at all. It was implied that T-Mobile told Blackberry to take a hike, not the other way around.

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post #7 of 31
I'm sure T-Mobile is absolutely devastated that they have to stop selling phones no one buys.
post #8 of 31

I suspect truth is that T-mobile were no longer willing to waste valuable shelf space on Blackberry products which no longer sell.

Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #9 of 31

Their strategies are not complementary. T-Mobile likes to sell phones, and Blackberry doesn't... that's my take away.

post #10 of 31

Bye-bye T-Mobile? I'd like to see Blackberry's Plan B.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #11 of 31
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
Bye-bye T-Mobile? I'd like to see Blackberry's Plan B.

 

Well, plan C was BB OS 10. We’re on plan D right now.

Plan A was hiring two CEOs.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 31
T-Mobile is basically saying "Oh? Bye, Felicia."
post #13 of 31

I don't think Chen has a good grip on the industry yet, this is a blindingly stupid move.

post #14 of 31
I heard Susie Oaks (very funny gal) on a recent Macworld podcast (Pundits Showdown-really recommend-very funny) say, "Apple should just buy BB for no other reason than to add a new wing to the smartphone museum! "

1smile.gif

Best
post #15 of 31
I know what you all are thinking: Blackberry is still around?
post #16 of 31
I'm still surprised that we're even reading anythiong about BB, since I predicted their death almost 2 years ago.

Who woulda thought that they would cling to dear life longer than a bullhead out of water?*

* Not to make fun of an animal's misery... I asure you it's only an anology off the top of my head!
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #17 of 31
Blackberry had pretty big cash reserves iirc. Though surely they're dwindling now after what seems like years of losses.

Shame, I was rooting for them to pull through and thought BB10 looked interesting. Still do, but hopes of it happening are falling every day.

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post #18 of 31

Is Blackberry really in a position where they can burn bridges?

post #19 of 31
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Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Is Blackberry really in a position where they can burn bridges?

It probably won't stop what happens next to them.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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

BlackBerry needs to swallow their pride. They are not in the position to be behaving in this manner. Their smart phone market share has been plummeting over the last few years to where even Windows Phone has overtaken them and they are quickly becoming irrelevant.

 

This is akin to the Home Shopping Network pulling their channel from Time Warner Cable's line-up as a "we will show you!" Nobody would care.

post #21 of 31
Wow! And they wonder why there going down. Well they better sell know. Facebook might buy BBM bit maybe not the am servers are over loaded. They have to sell before there shareholders completely duck out and there patents are even attracting Apple, my guess is the BIS patent for unlimited surfing. Hopefully iOS users can get that except for it to be fast, hopefully on a 4G bandwidth.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Without a carrier, who is going to pretend to try to sell them?

The carriers with the most customers, VZW & AT&T. T-Mobile is barely a major player. There's a reason Apple chose them last.
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post #23 of 31
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post
Is Blackberry really in a position where they can burn bridges?

 

RIM sits on a small island surrounded by an already burning forest. They’re burning bridges to keep the fire from spreading to them.

 

They forgot the island has trees, too.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers," said BlackBerry CEO John Chen.

What's in the best interest of their customers is letting them buy an iPhone, if they want to.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

What's in the best interest of their customers is letting them buy an iPhone, if they want to.

That would make them not their customers. Retaining customers is something very important, and Steve Jobs knew that.

http://www.cnet.com/news/steve-jobs-wanted-to-further-lock-customers-into-apples-ecosystem/
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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

That would make them not their customers. Retaining customers is something very important, and Steve Jobs knew that.

http://www.cnet.com/news/steve-jobs-wanted-to-further-lock-customers-into-apples-ecosystem/

Notice that I said: ...if they want to (buy an iPhone). Choice is in the consumers' best interest. Keeping them on Blackberry is in Blackberry's best interest.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Notice that I said: ...if they want to (buy an iPhone). Choice is in the consumers' best interest. Keeping them on Blackberry is in Blackberry's best interest.

Agreed, but it seemed like you added the "if they want to" as a afterthought since the first part of your sentence was "the best interest of their customers is letting them buy an iPhone". You speak of choice but only offered a single one.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Agreed, but it seemed like you added the "if they want to" as a afterthought since the first part of your sentence was "the best interest of their customers is letting them buy an iPhone". You speak of choice but only offered a single one.

There are other choices? 1smile.gif
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

There are other choices? 1smile.gif

There's always the choice of not buying a phone. lol.gif
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Agreed, but it seemed like you added the "if they want to" as a afterthought since the first part of your sentence was "the best interest of their customers is letting them buy an iPhone". You speak of choice but only offered a single one.

I did not alter my post, and nothing was 'added' as an 'afterthought.'

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I did not alter my post, and nothing was 'added' as an 'afterthought.'

The operative word was 'seemed'. I knew what you meant from reading many of your posts. I just thought it could've been worded differently.
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