T-Mobile Offers BlackBerry Users $250 After Suggesting They Switch To iPhone

iphone-vs-blackberry

When T-Mobile sent out an email to BlackBerry-using customers suggesting that they switch to an iPhone 5s, the response from the BB faithful was loud and angry.

Even BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that he was “outraged” by T-Mobile’s behavior.

As a make-good, the network operator has now said that it will offer any customer who wants to upgrade to a new device $250 for a BlackBerry phone — or $200 for any other smartphone, including the iPhone.

Quoting a blog post from T-Mobile’s CMO Mike Sievert:

Wow. Mind blown. 

The passion we’ve seen from the BlackBerry Loyal over the past couple days has been pretty amazing. I want you to know we’ve heard you.

Yesterday BlackBerry CEO John Chen posted a blog criticizing T-Mobile’s marketing to BlackBerry users.  The premise of his article was that it’s best for customers if we restrict the free flow of information and limit consumer choice.  At T-Mobile we totally reject that premise. We believe the best wireless service gives customers complete freedom and choice, and that’s what we are doing with a new offer for BlackBerry users we are announcing today.

Starting this Friday, we’re offering $200 credit toward a new device when you trade in your current BlackBerry and upgrade to one of the latest, greatest devices.  Purchase any device we offer at T-Mobile.  It’s that simple. Bring in your old, working BlackBerry and we’ll give you $200 toward a new BlackBerry or any of our other state-of-the-art smartphones.i  In addition, for those existing T-Mobile BlackBerry customers trading-in and choosing a new BlackBerry Q10 or Z10, we’re offering an ADDITIONAL $50 off the purchase price of that new BlackBerry. These offers will be available for a limited time. 

It’s actually pretty ingenious way of turning negative press into good publicity, but it’s also a pretty fascinating social experiment of sorts.

While I suspect I know the answer given the website you’re on, would you upgrade from BlackBerry to iPhone 5s — or hold on to your BB device, and pocket the extra $50?

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Apple Revolution, published by Random House, and is currently writing a book about algorithms for Random House/Penguin to be published in 2014. He also covers the digital humanities for Fast Company. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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