T-Mobile will be offering the Blackberry Classic to its customers later this month. It can be purchased for either the full retail price of $439.92, or for zero down and 24 monthly payments of $18.33.
While this seems like a fairly ho-hum announcement, especially given the fact that Blackberry fell a long way from its perch as one of the biggest names in the smartphone industry. But for mobile carrier/mobile phone watchers, this is pretty interesting stuff.
About a year ago, T-Mobile and Blackberry made the unusual public announcement that they had not renewed their contract. This came at a time when relations between the phone manufacturer and the carrier were icy. Team Magenta hadn’t actually stocked the Waterloo-based companies phones in its stores for awhile, making them available only through phone and internet orders.
Things came to a head when T-Mobile announced a promotion for Blackberry users to trade in their devices. Soon after that, John Chen, CEO of BB, put out a press release stating that the contract between the two companies would not be renewed.
This was during a dark time for Blackberry. While it’s too early to say if its fortunes have changed, the company has puttered on, releasing new devices including an updated version of a smartphone with its identifiable physical keyboard.
T-Mobile reassured its users who were Blackberry loyalists that their phones would continue to work on the network. The company’s been picking up customers since the spat, arguably taking Sprint’s place as the country’s third largest carrier and setting their sights on Verizon with a recently-announced test drive program.
But a decidedly chilly relationship between the two companies settled in, until now. The thaw in relations is good news for those who still rely on Blackberry for their business- or personal-use phone.