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T-Mobile Calls BlackBerry's Bluff With New Offer

T-Mobile is offering $200 to BlackBerry users trading in for a new phone, with an extra $50 for those who buy a new BlackBerry.


T-Mobile incurred the wrath of BlackBerry CEO John Chen and some users for a recent promo that offered BlackBerry customers money to trade up to a new iPhone.

So now T-Mobile is offering a make-good to loyal BlackBerry customers and putting its money where its mouth is. The No. 4 U.S. carrier on Wednesday launched a new promotion offering BlackBerry customers $200 if they trade in their BlackBerry for a new phone. Those opting for a BlackBerry Q10 or Z10 can get an extra $50.

“We’ve been working overtime here to find the best possible way to show BlackBerry users exactly how much we appreciate and respect your passion for and loyalty to T-Mobile and to BlackBerry,” marketing chief Mike Sievert said in a blog post.

But, as Sievert points out on Twitter, two-thirds of those coming from BlackBerry switch to another operating system, so it will be fascinating to see how many people opt for the extra $50 and a BlackBerry as opposed to using the money toward an iPhone or Android device.

The offer kicks off Friday and will run for a limited time, Sievert said. A BlackBerry representative was not immediately available for comment.

T-Mobile has already pulled back on BlackBerry. While it sells the company’s Q10 and Z10 products, it doesn’t stock them in stores. Instead, customers who want them can order one and have it shipped to them.

After Chen wrote his blog post attacking T-Mobile for its original offer, CEO John Legere lashed back.

“Was going to engage John Chen on Twitter, but turns out he’s not here,” Legere said in a tweet earlier Wednesday. “I’ll check MySpace. Don’t worry @BlackBerry Something in the works!”

Even after the offer was announced, Legere noted that the company was still seeing greater demand for other products.

“It’s simple,” he said in a tweet. “We give options to the 2/3 of BlackBerry users who switch to a different OS when they upgrade.”

Update: BlackBerry had this to say: “Thanks to our loyal customers for the outpouring of passion for BlackBerry. You continue to amaze us and make things happen.”

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