The feud between struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry and scrappy wireless carrier T-Mobile is one that most people probably didn’t even know was taking place. And those who did know at one point have likely long since forgotten about it. If you’re one of the few people still tracking the ongoing fight, however, you were no doubt shocked when the ordeal came to a head earlier this week and BlackBerry decided to sever ties with the carrier, ending its long-standing agreement and preventing T-Mobile from selling new BlackBerry devices beginning later this month. Of course, things didn’t end there.
Cutting ties with T-Mobile was probably a smart move for BlackBerry. As T-Mobile CEO John Legere pointed out on Twitter, T-Mobile sells almost no BlackBerry devices.
— Zach Epstein (@zacharye) April 2, 2014
So basically, ending its agreement with T-Mobile gave BlackBerry a nice run of positive press and it will have no material impact on its business. At least, not in the short term.
T-Mobile does still have BlackBerry users on its network, however, even if it’s just a few hundred thousand. And as anyone who has read the comments on a tech news site or gadget blog knows, BlackBerry fans are very loud. And very angry.
As such, T-Mobile’s head honcho took to the carrier’s blog to pen an open letter and make BlackBerry fans a new offer.
“Being America’s Un-carrier is simply this. It’s about listening to and advocating on behalf of US wireless consumers. That’s it. The simple act that first ignited this Un-carrier revolution – and set T-Mobile apart from the entire US wireless industry – was that we listened to the customer. And that changed everything,” Legere wrote. “And, of course, that goes for the BlackBerry loyal, too. We hear you and stand with you. We always have and always will. So, obviously, we were disappointed in BlackBerry’s decision this week to end their agreement with us. But here’s what really matters most for BlackBerry owners. Whether you’re an individual customer or business customer, nothing changes. Nada. Zero. Zilch.”
The executive went on, offering BlackBerry users a $100 credit toward any new device — including a BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 — between now and the end of the year.
“I’ll always fight for you. And our team remains committed to providing the same great Un-carrier experience to all BlackBerry users,” Legere said. “At the end of the day, this has got to be about you – the customer.”