BlackBerry Announces End To T-Mobile Licensing

BlackBerry plans to end its licensing agreement with T-Mobile after their respective CEOs exchanged barbs over trade-in programs.

BlackBerry Announces End To T-Mobile Licensing

BlackBerry has called an end to its licensing agreement with T-Mobile.

Starting April 25, T-Mobile won't be able to sell BlackBerry devices. (Via CNET)

BlackBerry CEO John Chen explained the development in a statement, writing: "Our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers." (Via The Wall Street Journal)

It's not a very specific reason, but this comes two months after Chen and T-Mobile CEO John Legere had an Internet fight over T-Mobile's marketing campaign du jour:

T-Mobile offered BlackBerry users no money down on a new iPhone, and later, $200 toward any new non-BlackBerry devices if they traded them in on T-Mobile. (Via The Verge)

Chen called the campaign a "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion" that T-Mobile hadn't consulted BlackBerry on.

Legere fired back on Twitter with a suggestion, by way of MySpace reference, that BlackBerry was a bit behind the times.

In the meantime, the promo saw 15 times the normal volume of BlackBerry users coming forward to trade in their phones — and TmoNews reports an overwhelming 94 percent of them switched to, well, non-BlackBerries.

Now, BGR calls BlackBerry's apparent retaliation "a bold move … that shouldn't have too much of an impact on its bottom line, and at the very least, it shows fans that the company won't be pushed around as it looks to stage a comeback."

Not that there's much of a bottom line left. Analysis group Kantar shows BlackBerry was responsible for an entire 0.4 percent of the U.S. mobile market at the end of last year.

The company's revenue is down 64 percent year over year, too, and it lost $500 million in free cash assets last quarter as it works to stabilize its position in the market. (Via BlackBerry)

Not all is lost for BlackBerry users on T-Mobile, though: The company says it will continue supporting existing customers for the time being.