T-Mobile Axes BlackBerry After 94 Percent Of Customers Dumped Brand In Upgrade Program (BBRY)

 @tommylikeyt.halleck@ibtimes.com
on March 05 2014 3:52 PM
BlackBerry BBRY BB T-Mobile Tmobile TMUS
T-Mobile revised an upgrade program for owners of working BlackBerry devices in favor of the Canadian manufacturer, but the move did little to swell the tide of customers switching to a different manufacturers. BlackBerry

Last month, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) announced a trade-in program that would allow users of older BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) devices to upgrade to an iPhone 5s with no money down.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen then blasted T-Mobile in a statement, saying that the company was “outraged.” T-Mobile, in an effort to extend an olive branch to the beleaguered manufacturer, revised the program to give BlackBerry users $250 toward a newer BlackBerry device, and just $200 toward any other manufacturers for a promotion that ended on Wednesday.

According to a leaked T-Mobile memo, 94 percent of users trading in a BlackBerry device chose a different manufacturer with their upgrade. T-Mobile also saw a 15-fold increase in BlackBerry trade-ins during the promotion.

BlackBerry has seen its market share dwindle in the advent of iPhone and Android smartphones. The numbers surrounding T-Mobile’s promotion show that out of the minority of users who still use a BlackBerry, most are interested in switching to other manufacturers. Only 6 percent of T-Mobile customers who traded in a working BlackBerry decided to upgrade to another of the company’s handsets like the touchscreen Z10, newer Z30 or keyboard-toting Q10.

CEO John Chen told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday that the chances of the company’s recovery and success are about “50-50.” Chen says that the company’s best chance of a turnaround lies in its “heritage” of providing mobile solutions for enterprise. Chen said he hopes that BlackBerry will be profitable once again by March, 2016.

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