BlackBerry ends relationship with U.S. carrier over iPhone tiff

BlackBerry Ltd. CEO John Chen today announced that the Waterloo, Ont. smart phone maker is ending business relations with United States-based carrier T-Mobile.

Chen said on Tuesday BlackBerry will not renew its license with T-Mobile U.S. Inc. to sell BlackBerry products after the current contract expires on April 25.

“BlackBerry has had a positive relationship with T-Mobile for many years,” BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement. “Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers,”

BlackBerry, however, will continue to provide service and support to existing customers on T-Mobile’s network or those who will buy products from the carrier’s inventory.

BlackBerry will not renew its license with T-Mobile when the current contract expires on April 25, but Chen did not completely close the door on the U.S. carrier adding that he hopes to “work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned.”

At the heart of the matter is T-Mobile’s move in February to promote Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 5S smart phone to the carrier’s customers who were using BlackBerry handsets. T-Mobile sent these customers emails urging them to trade in their BlackBerry handsets for Apple’s iPhone 5S.

The move miffed some BlackBerry fans but also “outraged” Chen who complained that T-Mobile never informed BlackBerry of its plans.

“… to T-Mobile, I would like to remind you that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both BlackBerry and R-Mobile,” Chen wrote in a blog at that time. “I hope we can find a way to that allows us to serve our shared customers once again.”

Today, Chen assured BlackBerry customers on the T-Mobile network that they will not see any difference in their service or support.


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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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