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BlackBerry gets dropped from T-Mobile stores

Smartphone maker also cancels Friday's conference call that was to follow dismal Q2 results

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 26, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3235

(Updated to reflect comment from BlackBerry)

Things are going from bad to worse for BlackBerry.

Sales for the smartphone manufactuerer have been sliding recently, and now things have gotten so bad that T-mobile will no longer be selling BlackBerry phones from its brick and mortar store, it has been confirmed to VatorNews.

T-Mobile is not completely dropping the devices; the company will still sell the phones, but will only ship them directly to consumers. They will also continued to be displayed in stores.

"The T-Mobile retail channel is moving toward fulfillment via direct ship for Blackberry devices, rather than in-store inventory.  A customer will still see a phone on the shelf. If inventory is not available in the store, the device can be ordered," a T-Mobile spokesperson told me.

The reasoning behind this decision seems to have a lot to do with who the customer for BlackBerry devices has become, i.e. not individual consumers. 

Rather, BlackBerry phones are typically bought by businesses these days, and they do not make their purchasing decisions in stores, David Carey, executive vice president for corporate services for T-Mobile told Reuters, who first reported the news on Wednesday. 

"BlackBerry is focused on serving users who want to be highly productive at work and on-the-go. As such, we will be working with our carrier partners to deliver BlackBerry 10 to these power users in a variety of ways – based on carrier preference - through the channel, in-store or online. We want to ensure our users gain access to the technologies, features and applications that will allow them to work more efficiently," a BlackBerry spokesperson said.

This news comes on the same day that BlackBerry announced that it will be cancelling its scheduled conference call following its earnings report on Friday.

The company cited the news from earlier this week that it had a accepted a proposed $9 a share offer from a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings. Fairfax is BlackBerry's biggest shareholder, with a 10% stake.

"In light of the letter of intent agreement between BlackBerry and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited that was signed and announced on Monday, September 23, BlackBerry has cancelled its second quarter earnings conference call and webcast that had previously been scheduled for Friday, September 27 at 8:00 a.m," BlackBerry wrote.

The company said that it will instead be publishing further details and consolidated financial statements regarding its second quarter results next week.

And, besides, we all know that the quarter is going to be terrible, because, well, BlackBerry already told everyone

In a preliminary Q2 2014 announcement, BlackBerry revealed that it expects to generate just $1.6 billion in revenue for the quarter. Analysts, meanwhile, were expecting about twice that—or $3.06 billion. On top of that, the company will also be slashing 40% of its total workforce, or 4,500 employees, as well as cutting down its smartphone portfolio to four devices from six.

If the Fairfax deal goes through, the consortium would be buying the company for $4.7 billion.

Shares of BlackBerry stock fell 6.15%, or 52 cents, to $8.01 a share, in regular trading on Wednesday.

(Image source: http://gizmodo.com)

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