Sprint will 'wait and see' on BlackBerry strategy: CFO
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Corp is in no rush to follow the strategy of smaller rival T-Mobile US, which plans to cut back on offering BlackBerry smartphones, the chief financial officer of the No. 3 U.S. mobile operator said on Thursday.
After presentation at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, Sprint CFO Joe Euteneur said his company would take a "wait-and-see" approach before making any decisions on BlackBerry, the struggling Canadian smartphone maker that has seen demand for its devices shrink rapidly and is narrowing its marketing efforts to businesses.
Euteneur acknowledged that Sprint may not want to rock the boat among business customers, which have typically been the biggest fans of BlackBerry smartphones.
On Wednesday, No. 4 U.S. wireless operator T-Mobile US told Reuters it would no longer stock BlackBerry Ltd phones in its stores, but would ship the devices to any consumers who come in to order a BlackBerry.
While T-Mobile is primarily known for serving consumers, Sprint has a long history of supplying businesses with cellphones particularly on its iDen network, which came from an acquisition of Nextel in 2005.
At the end of June Sprint shut down the Nextel network, which was based on out-dated technology. It is instead focusing its efforts on modernizing the original Sprint network.
But Sprint has lost customers of both networks as a result of the shutdown. Companies that used the iDen network, are also moving their workers from the Sprint network.
Bigger U.S. operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc both still sell BlackBerry phones in their stores.
Lowell McAdam, Chief Executive of Verizon Communications told Reuters this week that any Verizon Wireless decision about BlackBerry would depend on its customers' wishes.
After shocking investors with a financial warning on Friday BlackBerry said on Monday that it had agreed to be bought by a private firm but some investors were doubtful as to whether the deal will end up closing.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by David Gregorio)
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