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T-Mobile's BlackBerry Promo: 94 Percent Traded for a Different Smartphone

Even an extra $50 for getting a Q10 or Z10 couldn't keep most trade-in customers on a BlackBerry.


T-Mobile incurred the wrath of BlackBerry CEO John Chen and some of the phone’s loyalists by making an upgrade offer encouraging BlackBerry owners to trade in for a new iPhone.

Aiming to make amends — and really calling the BlackBerry bluff — T-Mobile launched an upgrade offer that gave BlackBerry owners the choice of sticking with that platform or moving to another smartphone.

T-Mobile’s BlackBerry trade-in promotion did indeed drive lots of people to upgrade — just not to new BlackBerrys.

According to a field sales memo obtained by TmoNews, the promotion, which is ending on Wednesday, led to a 15x increase in BlackBerry trade-ins. But the most interesting number is how many went for something other than a new BlackBerry.

Even with an extra $50 offered to those who chose a Q10 or Z10, 94 percent of the people taking part in the promotion opted to switch smartphone platforms.

To be fair, T-Mobile is not exactly the world’s biggest backer of BlackBerry, choosing not to carry inventory in stores and instead shipping the devices to buyers. That said, the numbers kind of speak for themselves.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress last week, Chen noted that his company was focusing on AT&T and Verizon.

“The two major carriers and us, our relationships are getting better by the day,” he said. “That strategy will continue to work for us.”

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