BlackBerry ending US licensing deal with T-Mobile (Update)

Apr 02, 2014
Apple's iPhone 5 is advertised in the window of a Manhattan T-Mobile store on April 12, 2013 in New York City

BlackBerry is ending its U.S. licensing deal with T-Mobile, saying the companies no longer have complementary strategies.

The disconnect appears to be related to a T-Mobile promotion that BlackBerry took issue with last month.

In a blog post in February, BlackBerry CEO and Executive Chair John Chen said that T-Mobile had emailed an offer targeting BlackBerry users on its network asking them to switch their BlackBerry devices to a competitor's smartphone. Chen said that BlackBerry had not been told of T-Mobile's plans in advance and thanked its customers for expressing their displeasure. Chen told its customers that BlackBerry was upset about the offer and that T-Mobile hadn't spoken with the Canadian company before or after launching the promotion.

BlackBerry's existing licensing agreement with T-Mobile U.S. Inc. expires on April 25.

Once the deal ends, BlackBerry customers on the T-Mobile network shouldn't see any change in their service or support, Blackberry said.

BlackBerry Ltd., formerly known as Research In Motion, said that it will work with T-Mobile to help any BlackBerry customers remaining on the T-Mobile U.S. network or any customers buying devices from T-Mobile's existing inventory.

BlackBerry said it's also working with its other carrier partners to give its customers options should they want to switch to another carrier.

Chen said in a statement that the company hopes to work with T-Mobile again when their business strategies align.

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, had been the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before the iPhone debuted in 2007 and showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls. The BlackBerry has also been hurt by competition from Android-based rivals.

On Friday the company reported mixed fourth-quarter results as its adjusted loss was better than expected, but revenue—which dropped below $1 billion for the first time since late 2007—fell short of analysts' expectations.

BlackBerry is transitioning its business from a smartphone company to a software business under Chen, who is deemphasizing the hardware business after last year's launch of the BlackBerry 10 failed to spark a turnaround.

Chen, who is credited with turning around Sybase, a data company that was sold to SAP in 2010, is putting more emphasis on BlackBerry's mobile device management business, a collection of software that allows IT departments to manage different devices connected to their corporate networks. He is also emphasizing BlackBerry's popular BlackBerry Messenger application that is now also available on Apple and Android devices. And he is trying to highlight Blackberry's embedded QNX software systems, which are used in-vehicle infotainment systems and industrial machines.

BlackBerry's stock dipped 2 cents to $8.08 in premarket trading Wednesday about three hours ahead of the market open.

Explore further: BlackBerry CEO slams T-Mobile over 'inappropriate' marketing offer

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

BlackBerry wins ruling against iPhone keyboard

Mar 31, 2014

Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has won an early round in its legal battle against an iPhone keyboard made by a startup co-founded by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.

BlackBerry revenue falls below a $1 billion (Update)

Mar 28, 2014

BlackBerry reported a steep drop in profit and revenue Friday as it transitions from a smartphone company to a software business under its new chief executive. Shares rose five percent in morning trading ...

Recommended for you

Ear-check via phone can ease path to diagnosis

Dec 18, 2014

Ear infections are common in babies and young children. That it is a frequent reason for young children's visit to doctors comes as no consolation for the parents of babies tugging at their ears and crying ...

Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

Dec 18, 2014

Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what?

BlackBerry launches Classic in last-ditch effort

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones—and most smartphone customers—have embraced touch screens.

Tag Heuer changes tune, now looking at smartwatches

Dec 16, 2014

Barely a few months after dismissing Apple's smartwatch, the new chief executive of luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer conceded Tuesday that such a hi-tech gadget might after all have a place in his firm's ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.