You wouldn’t think an offer to let you get your hands on an iPhone 5s with no up-front payment could cause quite so much fuss, but a T-Mobile offer aimed specifically at BlackBerry customers seems to have caused quite the controversy.

While many BlackBerry owners may have been welcomed the offer, others expressed their disappointment at what they felt to be the carrier’s lack of commitment to the future of the BlackBerry platform – and now BlackBerry CEO John Chen was weighed in with a blog post expressing his outrage … 

Responding to tweets and emails from BlackBerry customers, T-Mobile CEO John Legere had already issued an apology to those upset by the offer.

This was followed by two further tweets assuring customers that the carrier would continue to support the BlackBerry platform. Now BlackBerry CEO John Chen has made a blog post in which he says he is both outraged and puzzled by the offer.

Late last week, T-Mobile emailed an offer targeting BlackBerry users on its network asking them to switch their BlackBerry devices to a competitor’s smartphone […]

I can assure you that we are outraged too. What puzzles me more is that T-Mobile did not speak with us before or after they launched this clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion.

We suspect, however, that it’s the usual case of the unhappy ones making the most noise, while others will have quietly taken advantage of the chance to make the switch.

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12 Responses to “BlackBerry hits back at T-Mobile’s ‘Switch to iPhone’ offer, despite CEO’s tweeted apology”

  1. Tom Magrini says:

    Blackberry users – get a clue. Committing to BlackBerry is like buying a ticket on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.


    • frankman91 says:

      I think they are actually setting a stage for a miniature comeback, or at least a plan to maintain a tiny tiny market.

      Full disclosure I would never buy one myself, but the BlackBerry 10 is a good looking phone. My wife had the BlackBerry Storm (their first full-touch phone) like 6 years ago and the screen sucked, the keyboard was unusable, and there were ZERO apps available.

      That is not the case anymore, the new OS is nice, the keyboard is on par with some of the upgrade android ones (amazing how the predictive text works placing full words above the next letter you are about to type [see youtube]) and they are FINALLY porting the GooglePlay store so you don’t have to be some crazy power-user to run Android apps on it.

      I know this is an Apple bias forum, but 95% of the best apps are on bot iOS and Android platforms, so if you can get a BB and run Android apps you are not really missing out on anything, and you get to have something a little different than the crowd.

      Again, I am not going to run out an buy one, but I wouldn’t call them out as the Buick of the phone world just yet.


  2. shm1ck83 says:

    I don’t see why they should tell Blackberry anything in advance. They are there to sell phones of any make. I’m sure if the tables were flipped he would quiet, but outraged if any other competitor said anything.

    RIP Blackberry, can’t remember the last time I saw anyone using one of your devices


    • Actually the network operators (T-Mobile et al) are there to sell services (e.g. Calls, data etc). The phone which they offer are merely a delivery mechanism. As such to maximise the customer segment which they can attract who will consume the most of their product (calls NOT phones) then the network operators will make the delivery mechanisms as attractive as possible. I suspect that this marketing campaign, started at a way of encouraging Blackberry owners to spend more (by renewing contracts) by moving onto an alternate delivery mechanism. By now appearing to head John Chen, they can be perceived to acknowledge and not wish to disavow the customers who wish to stay with Blackberry. Marketing is 100% perception


      • “Marketing is 100% perception”

        Well… That’s snappy! But it doesn’t really mean anything in this context, does it? Let’s try to make it fit anyway: Marketing is 100% perception – Blackberry needs to change the perception of its product, then.

        Your comment doesn’t totally hold up when you consider that actually, carriers are selling services AND devices, in partnership with companies like Samsung, Apple, LG and Blackberry, etc.

        What’s likely happening here is that T-Mobile isn’t finding selling Blackberry to be a good partnership any longer. It’s beyond marketing – Blackberry now seems to be a digital albatross on their neck.

        Supporting Blackberry isn’t worth it to T-Mobile, it appears. But having the customer is, so T-Mobile is trying to make it easy for a customer to switch.


      • shm1ck83 says:

        Phone shops sell phones, they are there to sell you a phone. You go there to buy a phone, they sell you a phone. They do not sell data & calls, that comes with, you guessed it, the phone.


  3. Scott Adams says:

    Having been forced into using a BB phone last year for a few months prior to my corporation’s finally getting on the BYOD train, I can tell you that it was one of the most painful experiences I have encountered in years. I carried my BB to deal with work email and my iPhone for everything and I mean everything else. BB’s 1990’s technology needs to be put out of its misery.

    Give Chen the golden parachute he’s going to get sooner or later and be done with it.


  4. b9bot says:

    Blackberry can’t get out products people want to T-Mobile needs to move on to products that they can actually sell and make a profit. That’s just business so the CEO of Blackberry needs to just suck on it!


  5. Mark Granger says:

    What is a BlackBerry?


  6. Tmobile is smart. They probably have very very low blackberry sales and high iPhone sales so they’re probably trying to get rid of selling Blackberrys all together. I don’t blame them. Blackberry sucks now. Maybe in 2005 Blackberry was popular but now all they have that people like is BBM and now that’s on other devices.


  7. Blackberry user here. Would i switch back to ios exclusive? No. I have an iPad and iMac. They are good for media consuming and media tweaking. For communications nothing beats the virtual and hardware keyboards, or the hub, or BBM, or the LED, or the gestures, or a nonmonolithic kernel, or the call quality, or PIN messaging, or dual operating system capabilities, or the security, or the email, or the screen.