This one’s gotta sting.
T-Mobile is giving up on selling BlackBerry phones in its retail stores. T-Mobile corporate services VP David Carey told Reuters on Wednesday that T-Mobile is giving BlackBerry phones the boot after finding out what most of us already suspected: People just weren’t buying the things. T-Mobile wants to put that shelf space to better use.
It’s not all bad, though. Carey also confirmed that T-Mobile will continue selling BlackBerry phones online, focusing on business customers who don’t tend to make their purchases in-store.
That, coincidentally, meshes pretty well with the new “enterprise and prosumer” strategy BlackBerry announced alongside its disastrous earnings preview last week. Looking at the numbers, the company’s shift in focus makes sense: BlackBerry said it sold 3.7 million phones last quarter (that’s less than half the number of smartphones Apple sold in one weekend, mind you). Most of those devices, however, were BlackBerry 7 phones, not ones running BlackBerry 10, where the company is really staking its future.
In other words, BlackBerry’s consumer strategy just hasn’t worked all that well — hence it’s struggle.
As has been clear all along, if BlackBerry wants to survive in any form, it has to think smaller and focus on what it’s good at: business services and integrated hardware.
Oh, and while T-Mobile is giving up on BlackBerry, Verizon and AT&T aren’t. Both companies confirmed to AllThingsD that they aren’t following T-Mobile’s lead on this one.