BlackBerry's Split With T-Mobile Doesn't Change Much

BlackBerry's device sales in the U.S. are already low, and dropping T-Mobile can't make it much worse.

Apr 2, 2014 at 12:30PM

So apparently BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) never quite smoothed things over from February's falling-out. BlackBerry announced today that it would no longer sell its devices through T-Mobile as of April 25.

While it's never good news for a device maker to stop selling its products through one of the major wireless carriers, BlackBerry investors have much more to be concerned about than the two companies parting ways.

Why split up?
Dropping T-Mobile from its list of carriers is likely the result of the magenta company's promotion back in February that offered $200 to any BlackBerry user to switch to an iPhone on T-Mobile's network. The offer spurred a backlash by BlackBerry loyalists online.

T-Mobile tried to smooth things over by offering a Blackberry promotion, but it was too late. About 94% of users who participated in the offer ditched their BlackBerry for another device.

Why neither company will suffer
BlackBerry's device sales in fiscal Q4 2014 were already pretty bad, and dropping T-Mobile isn't likely to make them any worse. The company only sold 3.4 million devices to end consumers and only 1.1 million of those were running the BB10 operating system.

BlackBerry's newer OS hasn't turned around the company as investors had hoped and now it's looking to tap into some nostalgia for future sales. The company's brining back its formerly popular BlackBerry Bold device, and is releasing its Q20 device with a physical keyboard -- harkening back to the company's heyday.

With device sales already so low, and BB10 failing to change the tide, BlackBerry doesn't have much to lose by cutting ties with T-Mobile. Consequently, with such low demand for BlackBerry devices, T-Mobile won't likely see much of a loss, either. The company will continue to support current BlackBerry devices, so any current customers can continue to pay for their plans if they choose.

Foolish final thoughts
The one thing that could potentially be hurt in all this is how BlackBerry loyalists perceive the company. Sure, BlackBerry has already lost its clout with most mobile consumers, but purposefully dropping a carrier should be a little unsettling for a group of users who are staunch supporters of the devices.

I can't help but view the T-Mobile and BlackBerry split as yet another small step into insignificance for the device maker. While the move doesn't change much for either company, it's still a telling sign that BlackBerry is slipping further away from mobile consumers. And, unfortunately, that's nothing new.

A better opportunity 
So far, BlackBerry's failed to turn its ship around, leaving investors who hoped for big gains pretty disappointed. Luckily, there's a new wave of tech that's coming into its own, and it's not even close to being too late for investors to get in on it. An ABI Research report predicts 485 million of them could be sold over the next decade, and you can invest in it right now... for just a fraction of the price of AAPL stock. Click here to get the full story in this new report.

Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers