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A shaky marriage officially ends: BlackBerry won't renew T-Mobile deal

  • Less than amused with a T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.1%) ad campaign urging BlackBerry (BBRY +1.4%) owners to buy iPhones, BlackBerry says it won't renew T-Mobile's license to sell its products, which expires on April 25. Existing users on T-Mobile's network won't see any changes.
  • As it is, T-Mobile stopped stocking BlackBerrys in its retail stores six months ago (they've remained available online). Moreover, with local sales having plunged, the U.S. now only accounts for a small fraction of BlackBerry's hardware sales, and T-Mobile (has a relatively small corporate base) a small percentage of U.S. sales.
Comments (40)
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    Who wants a Carrier that lies to its customers?
    I believe John Chen made the right move. No more T-Mobile bullying existing BBRY owners and potential new BBRY owners. I even hear they are miss-leading potential Android customers too, from family and friends in the USA.
    They consistently try to push iPhones onto you. And if you show signs of not knowing much about smart phones, they become more iPhone aggressive.

     

    Also that advertising telling people to dump there BB10 devices for iPhones was wrong in all accounts.
    Good Bloody Riddens.
    2 Apr, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Arduino_RaspberryPi
    , contributor
    Comments (379) | Send Message
     
    They were a non partner. Should have dumped them 6 months ago. More of a hindrance than anything. BlackBerry has to focus their limited energy on things that are net positive.
    2 Apr, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • Z10isgreat
    , contributor
    Comments (273) | Send Message
     
    Sell the phones unlocked online and bypass the carriers completely. Hyperadvertise the fact that you don't need a plan to get a blackberry, buy direct, subtly suggesting that none of the carriers are telling you the truth so judge for yourself. Provide tutorials that extoll the benefits of the phone and their superiority over what iphone android offer.
    2 Apr, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • Corey Sommers
    , contributor
    Comments (890) | Send Message
     
    Probably one of the most intelligent posts I've read in a long time on SA. I hope BBRY is taking notice of this good advice. Great stuff.
    2 Apr, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    Corey,

     

    no disrespect intended, but I saw that post and thought it was terrible advice. Here's why:

     

    For good or bad, carriers are how phones are sold in the US. This where probably 90%(?) of people buy phones.

     

    you NEED people to walk into a store looking for an iPhone or HTC One and see the Z30 and fall in love with it.

     

    To move to the model Z10isgreat suggests, you have little to no chance of spontaneous conversions to BlackBerry.
    2 Apr, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    I have to agree with Mr. Knowitall ( I Know, I Know lol)

     

    Though what I suggest is offer devices unlocked via various channels and ensure you strengthen Carrier support. You can have it in both worlds IMO.
    2 Apr, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • anonymous1234212
    , contributor
    Comments (58) | Send Message
     
    This is one of the few times where KIA is correct ;)
    4 Apr, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • Mr. Cat
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    I must say terminating partnership with T-Mobile is a plausible move of Mr. J. Chen who should be highly credited for his bravity that a leader should have and superior ability to execute.
    Imagine, when your partner has stabbed you at your back with a one foot long knife, what should you do with such relationship. Are you going to live with such partner along with the wound and humiliation?
    There is a Chinese proverb that I think John Chen must know and performing, meaning " killing a chicken to warn the monkeys".
    6 Apr, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • DaleHeller
    , contributor
    Comments (62) | Send Message
     
    Seems to me this is a non-issue. T-Mobile has so many issues of its own, they do not need this type of antagonism with their suppliers. If customers aren't buying the product, then they should be able to lessen their owned inventory and marketing efforts for multiple devices. However, they should not have been so public and vehement re BBRY. This will be a net negative for T-Mobile, not BBRY.
    2 Apr, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (723) | Send Message
     
    Well, you've touched on the heart of the issue - "customers aren't buying the product" and therefore, why should T-Mobile maintain Blackberry subscriber plans and BIS components and so forth? They can sunset all of that. Going forward, the idea of paying for a Blackberry subscriber plan is going to end up going poof anyways and Blackberry has to deal with that loss of revenue and monetize in a different way. If Blackberry devices were selling, then T-Mobile wouldn't be getting a divorce with Blackberry. As a result, this isn't a net negative for T-Mobile, it's a sign that Blackberry is still sliding further down.
    2 Apr, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    That's complete nonsense.
    And you clearly missed my 1st post I made on this topic.
    You have T-Mobile sales staff miss-leading customers and telling unsuspecting customers that BBRY has gone out of business, then quickly force an iPhone down there throat.

     

    How would you expect to sell BB10 devices?

     

    You call that fair? Or unjust? Seeing how T-Mobile got reamed on Twitter for the Bone Head Move, trying to convince existing BB10 device owners to upgrade to iPhone and having to lie to them by stating the iPhone is superior is complete nonsense.
    2 Apr, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • Mr. Cat
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    BB10 is brilliant and now the best OS on mobile device. As many comments have rightly pointed out that the reason why BB phone is not popular has nothing to do with its performance but poor marketing skill or even a deliberate act to bury BB by its previous management in order to set the stage for placing "for sale" flag.
    With the up coming Z3 and Classic, T-Mobile will soon be deeply regretted and pay heavy price for its outrageous move against BB in 6 months time.

     

    Typing from my Z30
    6 Apr, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    *sigh*

     

    "BB10 is brilliant and now the best OS on mobile device. As many comments have rightly pointed out that the reason why BB phone is not popular has nothing to do with its performance"

     

    It is the supporters of this type of thinking which is the very foundation of my short position.
    7 Apr, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Canadian Red Neck
    , contributor
    Comments (351) | Send Message
     
    I used to use BlackBerry cellphone and have used Z30 for 6 months now. The Z30 call qualify is definitely better than my previous Galaxy Nexus. I believe that BlackBerry's problems are not with its OS or phones, it's with their marketing. They should have added the direct sale long time ago. See what xioami, Lenovo, Dell, etc. are doing. I found out the direct sale in Canada by accident. The advertising for this is pathetic. BlackBerry, please try harder to market your products and services. I like the Z30 and will keep telling about it. My daughter is now using BBM on her Nexus 5.
    2 Apr, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    Canadian Red Neck
    """BlackBerry's problems are not with its OS or phones, it's with their marketing. """

     

    They spent over $1/2 Billion on Advertising and nothing was effective. And soon after John Chen came in and fired the chief marketing officer. BlackBerry always had issues with marketing its products. And I've recommended several times they should hire an external marketing company that knows they are doing.
    2 Apr, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • sfinvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (961) | Send Message
     
    T-mobile is just ahead of the curve, no pun intended. All carriers are thinking about it. So you have no retail channel, no carrier support and now with the firing no sales team. Good luck turning that around.

     

    The part I find most fascinating which went unconfirmed was the 93% of bbry trades-in went to non-BBRY? If that is the case, it pretty much confirms that BBRY as a brand equity went from hero to zero.
    2 Apr, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    sfinvestor

     

    T-Mobile will try and lick John Chen's chops if this direct sale or rsbduff likes to put it Point of Sale picked up in a massive way.

     

    I will guarantee you one simple situation that would IF came true bar none. Example: BBRY sells 20M BB10 devices via Point of Sale in One Quarter, and T-Mobile would have a harry fit. ;)
    2 Apr, 08:40 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    " IF came true bar none"

     

    I henceforth ban the use of the terms "bar none" and "hands down" from any discussion involving BlackBerry.
    2 Apr, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • sfinvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (961) | Send Message
     
    If not T-mobile and other carriers, who would pay BBRY service access fee on the consumer side that generates 57% of their revenue and 100%+ of their gross margins?
    3 Apr, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • rsbduff@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
     
    Be Careful!

     

    I've been in the computer field, and sales for years. The power of the "point of sales" contact is greater than you think. Maybe it comes from the average lack of intelligence of the average consumer.

     

    The dumbest sales person....at one of these silly little kiosk can normally lead, even smart people (in other fields) anywhere they want. Any company that ignores that reality will have an uphill climb.....that is Blackberry's position..sadly.

     

    Corporate accounts are different. That may be their only hope.

     

    (My insight is worth what I charge for it)

     

    RSBDuff
    2 Apr, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Canadian Red Neck
    , contributor
    Comments (351) | Send Message
     
    Not when they are knocking your products. I am of the opinion that BlackBerry has no choice but to part company with Tmobile. It is the right decision.

     

    If a company has good products and services offered at attractive prices, direct sale is a workable sale channel. I have bought on line directly from Sony, Amazon, eBay, various electronic companies. On line sale is growing for various reasons. Many shoppers like me research before we buy. We don't need salespeople to educate us. We like the ease of shopping and general lower prices.
    2 Apr, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • 4ronk
    , contributor
    Comments (61) | Send Message
     
    Parting ways with T Mobile exemplifies BlackBerry's determination to maintain integrity for their brand. BlackBerry is to be commended. T Mobile is looking to use all means to grab market share, including their questionable trade in promotions.
    2 Apr, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • leo21186
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    WISE COMMENTS! DUMP T-MOBILE..Get your own Blackberry store with trained personnel to sell the quality product. I was advice to buy and Iphone at a T-mobile store and was never informed about the Blackberry phone features, I then tried my co-worker's Z-30 blackberry which I loved and returned the Iphone for Z30..Thank you.
    2 Apr, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • Seriouspatt
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
     
    I'm from Europe and do not understand one thing here:

     

    What is T-Mobile? A joke-company or a carrier? That's not subtile mocking, that's a laughable act of attempted indoctrination. If I were a Blackberry user and T-Mobile was my provider, I'd probably consider switching.
    2 Apr, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • customize
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    That's the very reason Blackberry needs their own storefronts in America, to sell their own stuff. Either you buy it online or at the blackberry store.
    2 Apr, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    customize
    """That's the very reason Blackberry needs their own storefronts in America, to sell their own stuff. Either you buy it online or at the blackberry store."""

     

    You hit the nail on the head. That is what BBRY should do. They should also try and score a deal with Best Buy and Future Shop for a nice BlackBerry display and hired helpers to explain about the platform and how far superior it is compared to the competition.
    2 Apr, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Clawdawg
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
     
    The Z30 is a power house phone. Monster battery, large and crisp screen size, super productive and fluid interface. The Hub is by far the best feature with the unified inboxes. I know I sound like a sales pitch but Z30 is top notch and have been using it since it came out
    2 Apr, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    Thank you so much, BlackBerry team. I was waiting for this app. It's really great. user friendly and smooth.
    2 Apr, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (1721) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Knowitall
    """Thank you so much, BlackBerry team. I was waiting for this app. It's really great. user friendly and smooth."""

     

    Your very welcome. And don't forget you can also directly download and install Android apps via Google Play, if you happen to not find what you are looking for on BlackBerry World.

     

    Have a fine day sir. ;)
    2 Apr, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • BBwetrust
    , contributor
    Comments (1406) | Send Message
     
    Are you guys have a life other than BB talk? I guess I should have asked myself the same question?
    2 Apr, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • BBwetrust
    , contributor
    Comments (1406) | Send Message
     
    Do you guys have a life other than BB talk? That's what I mean to say earlier.
    2 Apr, 11:59 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    I do, I'm long $INTC and $MSFT and also write covered calls on both of them.
    I stand to get called away on both as they have lately been going up, but it's ok as I still make money :)

     

    I don't post as much on those forums because quite frankly I don't care to argue about the damn 'Start Button' on Windows 8 any more .. it's been debated to death. Intel? Well, it's interesting, but largely wait-and-see.

     

    BlackBerry on the other hand is like a classic high tech soap opera!
    I also like short term trades based on detailed knowledge of the technology, and so BlackBerry is perfect for me in this regard.

     

    In short; BlackBerry is a fun trading vehicle.
    3 Apr, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • cnotp
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    People at T-Mobile is a bunch of kids just worried about iphones,don't know how to take care of business in otherwords.Blackberry will do just fine without T-Mobile.
    3 Apr, 01:45 AM Reply Like
  • rmiers1
    , contributor
    Comments (52) | Send Message
     
    goog and jobs ghost own american media, the surge will have to come from overseas. True techie's will discover bb and the hoax of the greedy ones. Hope for BB money first in market
    3 Apr, 01:56 AM Reply Like
  • Yasch22
    , contributor
    Comments (354) | Send Message
     
    In an ideal world BlackBerry and T-Mobile would still be married. BlackBerry will be able to make up for the loss of its paltry share of T-Mo sales by making sales online, but it would ultimately have been better if John Legere had maintained a civil attitude. The problem is that he didn't. He caused more bad press for BlackBerry with both his trade-in deal and with the MySpace joke at Chen's expense than any other individual excepting Marcap and Andreas Hopf (just kidding guys) in the past 5 years. Seriously, Legere's contempt for Chen and BlackBerry phones was palpable. To maintain any sort of dignity or integrity, Chen had to serve notice on Legere.

     

    I think what few people recognize is that it was probably costing BlackBerry more money to maintain its account with T-Mobile than it was bringing in. First off, most of the still considerable money BB is making in the US comes from governments and the enterprise. The two carriers that serve the largest number of contracts for BES are AT&T and Verizon. I'm sure they're actually quite happy with their relationship with BB, as enterprise customers are the most lucrative and tend to be the most sticky. So, T-Mobile probably had the lowest number of enterprise BBs under management of all the carriers, but at the same time Legere is constantly p'ing off phone-makers by trying to get phones at the cheapest prices and by setting contracts that don't maximize profits for the big boys. With BlackBerry losing most of its leverage in the past couple of years, I'll bet Legere was grinding them to the bone. On top of that, BB has costs associated with the different configurations of each phone in its line-up for each individual carrier.

     

    Long story short, Chen played a fine game of strategy here. The spat with Legere gave him a legitimate pretext to make a cost-cutting move. This comes on the eve of BB's new production run with Wistron of BB7 Bolds, which are clearly meant primarily for the middle-aged and older politicians and business execs who have always LOVED their BlackBerrys with the tool belt. In other words, for the seveeral million remaining Verizon and AT&T customers in America, and for whichever carriers dominate the MDM game in Europe.
    3 Apr, 03:50 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    "To maintain any sort of dignity or integrity, Chen had to serve notice on Legere."

     

    When you said this, the phrase "going down in a blaze of glory" popped into my head.
    3 Apr, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • Yasch22
    , contributor
    Comments (354) | Send Message
     
    You might be right. The leader of the army shouting, "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our dignity."

     

    I notice that Legere is showing signs of regret right now, and recognizes that, what? a couple of million T-Mo subscribers still on his books are actually diehard BB fanatics, and are making plans to leave. So much for the uncarrier being all things to all people.
    4 Apr, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • bocanot1234
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    This is a strategic mistake. BB is the Titanic and the captain just turned away several lifeboats. Chen's juvenile "we are not going to play with you" tactic, is just going to alienate BB from the public even more. TM is one of the few avenues that was still open for them in the US. I bought a z30 - while not a bad phone, it was not as good as a 5s but on par with Samsung s4. I would expect the z50 to be better but without a good carrier partner, it will not be easy to penetrate the US market. I went to the BB store in a mall in Dubai, good location but it was deserted. You have to have a constant flow of new, hot products if you are going to have a store. Apple always has something new coming computers, phones, ipods, etc. Unless BB can position themselves Apple-style, istores would be a waste of $$.
    3 Apr, 07:29 AM Reply Like
  • darkthrac
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    1st - Brick & mortar stores are dead! Whoever didn't get the memo & invest in them, will lose money.
    2nd - BB is bar existent in the US market .. WHO GIVES A CRAb about US market ? With all their users trapped in 2years plans to T-MO, ATT & ... Real life happens outside US, where one can buy unlocked phones, even order them from China.
    3rd - BB should make their phones available online OUTSIDE US, especially UE, Asia -where their core market is & the users still cherish the name BB. By doing that, they will kill the middle man who wants to make a hefty buck on their expense - the carriers.
    4th - users come & go. Now one likes ipuup, next one likes Sony or Nokia. Tomorrow they wake up & change their mind. So it's a very volatile user base. On the other hand, corporations tend to migrate slower to other OS to manage their fleet of phones. And the corporations pay big money to have solid services.
    PS: don't think too much about US market. They tend to be irrelevant to the world. Moreover, they tend to be GALAPAGOS syndrome-like.
    3 Apr, 07:30 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (9011) | Send Message
     
    @dark,

     

    "WHO GIVES A CRAb about US market? "

     

    Anyone who is supposedly focusing on enterprise cares about the US market.
    3 Apr, 11:52 AM Reply Like
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