Report: 94% of T-Mobile BlackBerry customers who traded in phones switched to another platform

Almost all T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) customers who traded in their BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) phones during a recent promotion switched to another smartphone platform, according to a blog post from TMoNews.

According to the blog, which cited an internal memo as part of a field sales update, 94 percent of all the customers who traded in their BlackBerry phones during the promotion switched to non-BlackBerry devices. It's unclear how many customers that translated into. However, according to an unnamed source, the blog said the promotion was "very successful." The promotion ended today.

"Today is the last day of our limited time BlackBerry trade-in program, which was created to provide additional value as well as customer choice for our loyal BlackBerry customers," T-Mobile said in a statement. "The program has been extremely popular, offering a trade-in value of $200 to $250 toward the purchase of a new device, driving a 15 fold increase in BlackBerry trade-ins." The company did not comment on the 94 percent figure but also did not deny it or refute it.

Under the promotion, which was announced Feb. 19, T-Mobile offered its existing BlackBerry customers up to $250 in credit if they upgraded to a new BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 phone. If the carrier's existing BlackBerry customers chose to upgrade to a different device, including an Android phone or an iPhone, the carrier said it would give them $200 in credit. 

The promotion was announced a day after BlackBerry CEO John Chen blasted T-Mobile for sending a promotion to the carrier's BlackBerry customers urging them to switch from BlackBerry to an iPhone 5s. Chen wrote in a company blog post he was "outraged" over the promotion and puzzled as to why BlackBerry was not informed of the promotion beforehand. Earlier in February, T-Mobile had sent a promotion to its BlackBerry customers offering the iPhone 5s for $0 down. The carrier described the effort as a "great offer for BlackBerry customers."

T-Mobile's original promotion sparked anger among BlackBerry fans. However, if the TMoNews report is to be believed, nearly all T-Mobile BlackBerry customers who took advantage of the promotion did not stay loyal to BlackBerry.

T-Mobile is not exactly known though as major BlackBerry player. In September 2013, T-Mobile said it planned to stop carrying BlackBerry smartphones in its stores and instead would ship the devices directly to customers who want them. It's unclear how many BlackBerry customers T-Mobile has.

According to figures released in February from research firm comScore, BlackBerry captured just 3.4 percent of the U.S. smartphone market as of December 2013, down from 3.8 percent in September. As of December, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android had 51.5 percent, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS had 41.8 percent and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone had 3.1 percent share.

Globally, research firm IDC said that BlackBerry captured just 0.6 percent of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter.

According to Re/code, Chen said his company is focused in the U.S. mainly on Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T). "The two major carriers and us, our relationships are getting better by the day," he said. "That strategy will continue to work for us."

At last week's Mobile World Congress trade show, Chen officially unveiled the company's next two smartphones, a mid-range touchscreen phone called the Z3 and another mid-tier phone with a physical Qwerty keyboard called the Q20.

The Z3 will have a 5-inch screen, run the latest BlackBerry 10 OS, version 10.2.1, and will be made by Foxconn. Chen did not provide many other details but said the phone will a have a retail, unsubsidized price of under $200. The phone will make its debut in April in Indonesia. The phone will run on 3G networks but BlackBerry is planning a global LTE version.

The Q20, which Chen affectionately referred to as "the Classic," will return BlackBerry to its hardware design roots, and will sport hard buttons as well as an integrated trackpad. The device will have a 3.5-inch touchscreen and keyboard with frets and sculpted keys. Chen said the device will come out in the second half of 2014, but did not give a price.

For more:
- see this TMoNews article
- see this Re/code article
- see this The Verge article

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