BlackBerry Is Seriously Giving People Hundreds Of Dollars To Ditch The iPhone

A marketing stunt that sends the wrong kind of message

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© 2017 Blackberry

BlackBerry’s business outlook is grim, but its latest device, the Blackberry Passport, has reportedly been selling well within its target demographic. As its name suggests, this device is a rectangular smartphone, with roughly the same dimensions as a common passport. What sets it apart however is its ‘square’ screen, which takes up the top 2/3 of the device, leaving the lower section for a complete QWERTY keyboard.

While it was largely lambasted by critics and tech journalists, the device has reportedly been selling out in certain locations. Truth be told this was more likely due to the small initial production run of the device rather than a huge amount of demand, however, the device is in no way the flop many thought it would be, especially among business and government users. This makes its latest marketing campaign all the more strange.

BlackBerry is offering iPhone users up to $550 to “trade up” their devices

BlackBerry is reportedly offering iPhone users up to $550 to “trade up” their devices to a BlackBerry passport. The company will give users of different iPhone models from $90 to $400 in order to trade in their phone, followed by an additional “top up” of $150. This seems like a crazy deal, but yet upon inspection of their specialized website, it does appear to be legit, with very few restrictions.

The primary reason for this deal is probably more about grabbing headlines than grabbing new users. Blackberry currently is in a position where its marketing budget is completely eclipsed by rivals like Samsung and Apple, and the company struggles to make the public aware that they still actually exist. By offering this crazy deal, BlackBerry is hoping to stoke a more general interest in its Passport phone.

Despite these good intentions however, this “trade up” program seems like a bad idea in the long run. BlackBerry is hurting their own brand with deal, as it subtly suggests that the Blackberry at its current price cannot compete with the iPhone on features alone, and as such, a customer needs this massive cash incentive in order to even consider this device.