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Blackberry CEO is 'outraged' by T-Mobile's 'anti-Blackberry' iPhone offer

But that doesn't mean the partnership is over
Wed Feb 19 2014, 17:32
Blackberry Q5 browser

CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry's CEO John Chen has taken a verbal swipe at US mobile operator T-Mobile over its recent iPhone promotion, saying he is "outraged" by the "anti-Blackberry" campaign.

The promotion in question has seen T-Mobile US offer customers an iPhone 5S for $500, $150 less than its usual retail price, touting the saving as "a great offer for Blackberry customers".

This didn't go down well with the Blackberry CEO, who on Wednesday wrote a blog post slamming T-Mobile for the promotion, which he blasted as "ill-conceived" and "inappropriate".

Chen said, "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. As we were never told of their plans in advance, I can only guess that T-Mobile thought its 'great offer for Blackberry customers' would be well received. T-Mobile could not have been more wrong.

"I want to thank our loyal customers for your commitment to Blackberry. By expressing your outrage directly to T-Mobile through tweets, calls and comments in the media and on blog posts, you sent a powerful message that T-Mobile could not ignore. Your partnership with our brand is appreciated by all of us at Blackberry, and draws a sharp contrast with the behavior of our longtime business partner.

"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."

Chen, who said on Twitter that this friction will not see Blackberry withdraw its devices from T-Mobile, added a message for the mobile operator at the end of his angry blog post.

"Finally, to T-Mobile, I would like to remind you that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both Blackberry and T-Mobile. I hope we can find a way forward that allows us to serve our shared customers once again. Notwithstanding the current challenge, we remain very excited about Blackberry's future," he added.

Given the lackluster success that Blackberry 10 devices have seen so far, we're not surprised that Chen wants to continue the partnership. µ


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