BlackBerry announced today that it won’t be renewing T-Mobile’s license to sell its handsets after their agreement expires on April 25. However, existing BlackBerry customers on T-Mobile won’t see any difference in their service or support, according to BlackBerry.
CEO John Chen explained that BlackBerry isn’t seeing eye-to-eye with T-Mobile at this point in time, but didn’t rule out cooperation in the future.
Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers. We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned.
The move follows a disagreement between BlackBerry and the US carrier in February this year, when Chen said he was “outraged” that T-Mobile was targeting customers who own BlackBerry devices with an offer to upgrade to the iPhone 5s with no downpayment.
It’s not clear whether severing ties with a major US operator is a wise strategy, however, considering that Chen is trying to build a comeback for the struggling firm. The fact remains that BlackBerry’s shipment numbers are tiny in the US — Kantar pegs it at 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2013.
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