After Spat, Chen and BlackBerry Sever Ties With T-Mobile

BlackBerry Passport John Chenuser1462590383 / Pixabay

Stating that the companies no longer share a strategic vision, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced that is would end its licensing agreement with T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) in the States. The company’s deal in the UK and Europe won’t be affected due to the fact that they have different ownership. The split dates back to a promotion by T-Mobile in February where the company encouraged its subscribers to switch to the iPhone.

The iPhone promotion

BlackBerry users still exist and they resemble the cult of “all things Apple” of the 90s, these same users who were approached by T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) and complained to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). John Chen, the man tasked with building a future for BlackBerry, took exception to the promotion and took to BlackBerry’s blog to express his displeasure saying that BlackBerry was not informed of the promotion by T-Mobile. He also thanked the “cult” of BlackBerry users who expressed their displeasure.

That’s when things turned a little nasty.

Legare gets a bit “catty”

After the blog post, T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) CEO responded by Twitter with a shot at Chen: “Was going to engage with John Chen on Twitter, but turns out he’s not here. I’ll check MySpace. Don’t worry @BlackBerry. Something in the works!”

Chen, a bit of a hothead himself, took issue with the combative tweet that suggested he might be found on the once great, now obscure social network. Apparently that landed a little to close to home for the chief of the Waterloo, ON handset maker.

It’s unlikely that either company will be hurt by the separation. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is focusing on its corporate and government contracts essentially ceding the consumer market to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) that deserve credit of their own for knocking the once great down a few notches.

The present deal will expire on April 25th, 2014 and shouldn’t affect BlackBerry users who presently use T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS). BlackBerry has however suggested that they will put together something that encourages/helps BlackBerry users switch to a new carrier.

At the end of the day, the news is almost like a kid taking his ball home rather than play a game that few play anymore with the unpopular kids.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at

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