Shots fired: T-Mobile offers BlackBerry users $200 for their old phone

Mike Sievert

Mike Sievert

It seems like BlackBerry CEO John Chen may have started a fight he wasn’t ready for.

Yesterday, Chen took to his company’s blog to discuss how outraged he was with T-Mobile sending BlackBerry users on the company’s network an email informing them that they could trade in their old phone and get a new iPhone with no down payment.

As it turns out, that didn’t sit too well with T-Mobile.

Mike Sievert, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, issued a statement today offering any BlackBerry user a $200 trade-in credit in exchange for their old handset. If they’re a T-Mobile customer and want to buy a new BlackBerry Q10 or Z10, they’ll get an additional $50 trade-in credit. The deal starts on Friday, and users can trade in any old BlackBerry, so long as it works.

According to Sievert, it’s a really good deal for consumers.

“The market value of used BlackBerry’s ranges from $5 per device to a little over $100,” he said.

Ouch. He also fired back at the premise of Chen’s blog post, saying that the BlackBerry CEO argued that “it’s best for customers if we restrict the free flow of information and limit consumer choice.” When offered a choice to move away from BlackBerry, T-Mobile says most users elect to jump ship.

Here’s what T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted today:

Legere, not one to hide his thoughts, also took another shot at Chen:

With T-Mobile’s new deal, passionate BlackBerry have a chance to figure out where their loyalties lie — whether that’s with the Canadian smartphone maker, or in another manufacturer’s welcoming embrace.

Blackberry declined to comment on this story.