Earlier this week, some interesting things happened when it comes to BlackBerry and the Magenta "un"carrier. T-Mobile decided to suggest to BlackBerry owners under the T-Mobile banner to tag-out their device, and go for something else instead. And from there, as you can imagine, things got really interesting, with BlackBerry's CEO, John Chen, stepping up and weighing in with his own thoughts towards the marketing promotion.
Of course, no company wants to see a carrier, any carrier, suggesting its subscribers drop their device for something else instead, especially not when you've still got phones on the shelves of that particular carrier. (There are two options for regular consumers, according to T-Mobile's website: the BlackBerry Curve 9315 and the BlackBerry Q10. Not a lot of choice, and only one realistic choice, to be frank. If you want the Z10, you'll find it on T-Mobile's business site.)
Despite the lack of options, BlackBerry doesn't want anyone suggesting to anyone else that they switch out their phones and go with another platform or company. So it isn't surprising that Chen would say what he did about T-Mobile's message. I can't say that I'm all that surprised T-Mobile started a BlackBerry-based special right after the whole "ordeal," either. Trade in any working BlackBerry (no cracked screens, please!) and you'll get $200 credit. Trade in that working BlackBerry for a new Z10 or Q10, and you'll get an additional $50 for good measure.
It's a great deal, especially if you're someone who just has a BlackBerry lying around.
The deal itself may be good, and there's certainly fifty additional incentives to pick up a new BlackBerry handset, but at the same time it kind of feels like an extension to T-Mobile's original marketing, just with an extra bonus for consumers. It's like admitting that someone's going to get rid of their BlackBerry, no matter what. T-Mobile just sweetened the deal for the person walking through the door.
The future for BlackBerry can't depend on just a single high-end device, but it does depend on carrier support. So it will be interesting to see what happens next, not just from T-Mobile, but also the other carries out there as well.
It did get me thinking, though. I know quite a few people who have switched from BlackBerry over the years, but more so recently. They went to iOS, or Android, and some of them even made the jump over to Windows Phone. Their reasons vary, as usual, but one of them stood out to me: uncertainty. A friend of mine, who had been hanging onto the BlackBerry thread for as long as I could remember, told me that the company's uncertain future is why he jumped ship and went on to something else. He didn't know where BlackBerry would be six months, a year, or longer, but he felt secure enough in Microsoft's embrace, so that's where he went.
I want to toss a wider net, and get a reaction from more people. I want to know why, for whatever reason, you may have switched from BlackBerry to another platform. Did your older device not get upgraded to BlackBerry 10, so you decided to go somewhere else? Or maybe you just didn't want to use a Q10, or even a Z10? Or is it another reason altogether? Let me know!