T-Mobile in BlackBerry bonanza


T-Mobile has confirmed the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 will be available in all channels from February.

The original BlackBerry Storm 9530 was exclusive to Vodafone. The Storm 2 was exclusive to Vodafone from November through to the end of last month. O2 is also expected to confirm the device.

T-Mobile more than doubled its BlackBerry base in 2009, shifting 10,000 units per week in Q4. It told dealers last week the number of T-Mobile customers using BlackBerry devices had increased by 125 per cent during 2009.

Mobile News understands around 70 per cent of all T-Mobile’s BlackBerry sales were on consumer contracts.

More than 2,900 BlackBerry handsets were activated on the T-Mobile network on Christmas day alone. Fifty per cent of those activations were with the BlackBerry Curve 8520 device.

T-Mobile said the BlackBerry Curve 8900 device was the best-selling contract device in the UK during Summer 2009 and the BlackBerry Curve 8520 was the best-seller during the Autumn.

Phil Lander, T-Mobile account director at BlackBerry-maker RIM, said: “It was a phenomenal year for BlackBerry and T-Mobile. We have seen significant growth. We have established the BlackBerry brand with huge investment. There was a lot of focus on the consumer market, but we are in no way turning our back on business.”

Lander said BlackBerry is to release a specific BlackBerry Twitter application shortly.

T-Mobile has also made the BlackBerry 8520 Curve available on prepay, including six months of free data usage. It will retail for under £150, and debuted via its dealer channel this week and through T-Mobile’s direct channels from March 1.

It comes with dedicated Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger, Flickr and Windows Live Messenger applications, alongside a number of new services.

T-Mobile said the prepay Curve 8520 will be one of 15 handsets to include 30 days of free text messaging and six months of free email and internet usage when purchased between March 1 and the May 31.

Lander said: “The entry-level Curve 8520 is a really strong prepay proposition. We are anticipating big things for this, not just because of the product, but also because of the T-Mobile brand and the propositions that will help drive its success.”