The relationship between T-Mobile and BlackBerry has gone through a bit of a rough patch after an ill-advised promotion led to a battle-cry from offended BlackBerry users, a war-of-words between CEOs John Chen and John Legere, and an apology that consisted of T-Mobile offering free expedited shipping on BlackBerry smartphones and a $200 credit when trading in a BlackBerry, with another $50 credit available towards buying a new BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Z10.
So how did the promotion go? In T-Mobile's own words, from an employee news update posted by TmoNews
"The program has been extremely popular, driving at least a 15x increase in BlackBerry trade-ins, with approximately 94% of those customers moving to a non-BlackBerry device at upgrade. This promotion was created to provide additional value for our loyal BlackBerry customers while providing customer choice — and important part of being the Un-carrier."
Ninety-four percent. Ouch. Granted, 15x and 94% are just ratio numbers of a base quantity we don't know, but they can't be the kind of numbers BlackBerry wanted to see. T-Mobile's certainly happy — they may not have made copious amounts of money off the deal, but they scored points with customers that were willing to part with their old BlackBerry for a new smartphone. They'll get their money in the long run.
Of course, it's worth noting that it did not have to be an active BlackBerry that you were trading in. Surely, some people grabbed an old Curve out of their desk and took it in to their nearest T-Mobile store for the trade-in. But somehow we doubt that was a significant portion of those that participated in the trade-in offer.
The $200 T-Mobile BlackBerry trade-in deal ends tomorrow — is anybody else going to take advantage of it, or are you waiting to see what else T-Mobile or BlackBerry does? As T-Mobile noted in their news posting, "If this is what customers want, this is what customers will get!" At least those who do jump ship will still have access to BBM on the platform of their choice.