T-Mobile To Stop Keeping BlackBerry Phones In Stock At Retail Stores

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), the fourth largest wireless communications provider in the United States said it will no longer keep stocks of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) smartphones in its retail stores starting in the next few days because the consumer demand for the devices is not high, according to Reuters.

According to T-Mobile, it will continue to display BlackBerry phones for consumers who want to see and purchase any of the devices from the struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer.

David Carey, executive vice president for corporate services at T-Mobile US explained that the buyers of BlackBerry smartphones are businesses. He emphasized that businesses do not order phones directly from the retail stores.  According to him, T-Mobile will ship BlackBerry phones to consumers on their request.

“Keeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient. Therefore, we will display it [BlackBerry smartphone] in the store for those consumers who would like to see one,” said Carey.

A spokesperson for T-Mobile also confirmed that decision of the company in a statement emailed to PCmag, which reads, “T-Mobile continues to support the BlackBerry platform. Customers can buy BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 devices in T-Mobile retail stores, online at www.T-Mobile.com, and through B-to-B sales channels. 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.”

T-Mobile made its decision after reports that a consortium of buyers led by Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSE:FFH) (OTCMKTS:FRFHF), the firm controlled by Prem Watsa offered to acquire the Canadian smartphone manufacturer and take the company private for $4.7 billion or $9 per share.

Prior to that, the management of BlackBerry issued a preliminary financial statement indicating that it would write down almost $1 billion worth of unsold BlackBerry smartphones and it is planning to cut 4,500 jobs. The company reported that the sales of its BlackBerry 10 devices declined from 6.8 million units in the previous quarter to 5.9 million units.

The stock suffered a sharp decline (17%) after the report, and failed to recover despite the proposal of the consortium of buyers to acquire the company. BlackBerry’s stock closed at $8.01 per share on Wednesday in New York.