Two days after BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) said it will soon cut sales ties with T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), the carrier said it is offering its existing BlackBerry customers a $100 credit toward any new device, including the BlackBerry Q10 or the Z10. T-Mobile said the offer is good through the end of the year.
BlackBerry's decision 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. BlackBerry said it will not renew T-Mobile's license to sell BlackBerry products when the license expires on April 25.
"We hear you and stand with you. We always have and always will," T-Mobile CEO John Legere wrote in an open letter to T-Mobile BlackBerry customers. "So, obviously, we were disappointed in BlackBerry's decision this week to end their agreement with us."
Legere wrote that nothing will change for T-Mobile BlackBerry customers, whether they are consumer or enterprise users. He also invited customers to bring their own BlackBerry devices to T-Mobile's network.
BlackBerry declined to comment, according to CNET.
"One thing you can count on from us: we'll keep listening to you and finding new ways to meet the needs of BlackBerry users--individuals and businesses--everywhere," Legere wrote. "But we're not done. Stay tuned for another Un-carrier offer that gives you more value and even more reasons to stay with America's fastest growing wireless company."
T-Mobile's new offer is an extension of an earlier promotion it made when the fracas first started. Under a promotion that ran from mid-February to early March, 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 on Feb. 19, 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. The spat included sharp ripostes from Legere on Twitter.
According to the blog TMoNews, 94 percent of all the customers who traded in their BlackBerry phones during the promotion switched to non-BlackBerry devices.
Even before the public battle began in February, T-Mobile was not exactly a major BlackBerry backer. 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.
- see this T-Mobile post
- see this CNET article
- see this Re/code article
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