Monday, November 24, 2014

BlackBerry Bribing iPhone Users To Trade In iPhones For Passport

If somebody told you to trade in your iPhone for something else you would probably call them crazy, yet that's exactly what BlackBerry is trying to do. The mobile company is attempting to convince iPhone users to switch to the BlackBerry Passport. The incentive? Money. A rather large sum of money to be more precise.

This promotion, which starts on Cyber Monday, promises as much as $550 to iPhone owners who trade in their handsets in favor of BlackBerry's Passport. The actual trade-in value will depend on which iPhone you have, however. The iPhone 4S only warrants $90 with the iPhone 6 being worth $400. Unfortunately (and surprisingly) the iPhone 6 Plus is not eligible for the trade. If that isn't enough incentive, BlackBerry is increasing the deal by throwing you an additional $150 as a topper for each iPhone. 

The deal will end on February 13 and it is only valid in North America, which is limiting. In addition to that, users mys also buy the $599 to $699 unlocked Passport phone through either BlackBerry's website website or through Amazon. The trade in amount comes in the form of a Visa prepaid card and you will still have to fork over some of your own cash to cover the complete cost. 

BlackBerry is trying desperately to increase its global market share, which now stands below 1%. The mobile company, which was once at the forefront of the mobile industry, has been struggling to win back customers and this trade-in program is just the latest attempt at doing so.

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The Passport launched back in September and is the company's first flagship mobile device to come about since John Chen took the mantel of CEO in November of 2013. BlackBerry is targeting the phone to "power professionals", which means business users who prefer a traditional physical keyboard and who focus mostly on email and text. The Passport is available unlocked in the US and got its name because it is about the size of a passport. 

BlackBerry isn't beneath bribery but the real question is whether or not iPhone users will take the bait. iPhone users tend to focus on things other than text and email, like apps and staying connected to everything all the time. BlackBerry has not only lost market share but also confidence among consumers, who worry that the company is incapable of surviving as a mobile phone maker, which is the biggest challenge facing the company. 

The Passport did do well during its initial launch, with 200,000 orders and sold-out stock both at BlackBerry's website and Amazon. The Passport will be going on sale during Black Friday for $499, though that does not include the iPhone trade-in offer starting the following Monday. What do you think? Can you be convinced to trade in your iPhone for the Passport with the incentive of up to $550 to go along with it?