BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) have kissed and made up. A little more than a year after BlackBerry cut sales ties with T-Mobile amid a dispute over T-Mobile promoting the iPhone over BlackBerry's phones, T-Mobile is now going to start selling the BlackBerry Classic smartphone.
Notably, the rapprochement between the carrier and the smartphone maker comes as T-Mobile is ramping up its efforts to gain market share in the enterprise market with new business plans. Getting T-Mobile back on board will also give BlackBerry a new possible revenue stream.
The Classic will be available beginning May 13 at T-Mobile.com and in participating T-Mobile stores beginning May 15 for $0 down, with equipment installment plan payments of $18.33 per month for 24 months. Customers can also purchase the Classic for $439.92 at full retail price.
The Classic is not BlackBerry's newest phone (that would be the touchscreen Leap) but it is one of BlackBerry's flagship products, and with its Qwerty keyboard it will likely appeal to business users. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) started selling the Classic in February.
In a statement, the companies said they "showed they're two companies in the business of listening to their customers."
"People who love BlackBerry smartphones and want to use one on America's fastest nationwide 4G LTE network now have that choice," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. "Bringing BlackBerry into our device line-up now also stokes Un-carrier 9.0, which is all about bringing the Un-carrier revolution to business."
"BlackBerry is proud to partner with T-Mobile once again to offer the world's most secure and reliable mobile products and services that encourage productivity--whether they are individual users making the most of their day with the BlackBerry Classic, or an enterprise seeking to manage thousands of devices," BlackBerry CEO John Chen added. "Together with T-Mobile, we hope to deliver highly differentiated solutions that appeal to our mutual users: the power professionals who depend on their smartphones to get things done and make things happen."
The burying of the hatchet comes less than two months after T-Mobile launched new plans aimed at business customers with a simplified rate structure in an effort to take away business from Verizon and AT&T. Although BlackBerry has seen its market share dwindle in recent years, many government workers and those in the legal, finance and medical professions still use BlackBerry phones. Selling the Classic could be a way for T-Mobile to step up its presence in the enterprise and small-and-medium-business markets.
BlackBerry's decision last year to essentially cut sales ties with T-Mobile came after a public spat between the two companies over T-Mobile's decision to promote the iPhone as an alternative to its BlackBerry customers.
- see this release
- see this SlashGear article
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