John Chen fumes over iPhone for BlackBerry offer

A promotional campaign by American carrier T-Mobile that entices smart phone users to turn in their BlackBerry handsets for a new iPhone got the goat of the CEO the Waterloo-based phone maker yesterday.

In a blog post yesterday in the Inside BlackBerry site, John Chen made it clear he was miffed by T-Mobile’s emailed offer last week targeted at BlackBerry users on its network which asked customers to trade-in their devices for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest iPhone 5S.

“As we were never told of their plans in advance, I can only guess that T-Mobile thought its ‘great offer for BlackBerry (TSE:BB) customers’ would be well received,” Chen wrote. “T-Mobile could not have been more wrong.”

He said it “puzzled” him that the carrier did not talk to BlackBerry before launching what he called a “clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing campaign.”

A number of BlackBerry users did not appreciate T-Mobile’s offer as well and took to social media outlets to express their displeasure.

“By expressing your anger 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,” Chen said. “…”I can assure you that we are outraged too.”

He also told BlackBerry users on the T-Mobile network that the Canadian phone maker is working on a special offer for them.

Chen ended his post with a reminder to T-Mobile of their business relationship.

“Finally, 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 said. “I hope we can find a way to that allows us to serve our shared customers once again.”


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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