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Partners: BlackBerry's Aggressive iPhone Trade-In Promotion Could Pay Off

BlackBerry is offering up to $550 to iPhone users who trade in their device for the new BlackBerry Passport, with partners saying it could put a wrench in Apple's mobile enterprise push.

A new BlackBerry promotion offers Apple iPhone owners up to $550 for trading in their device for a BlackBerry Passport, its new flagship smartphone. The promotion begins Dec. 1 and runs through Feb. 13 in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Waterloo, Ontario, company.

BlackBerry partners applauded the trade-in program, with one solution provider saying it could put "a wrench in Apple's plans" for an enterprise push.

[Related: Partners Say BlackBerry 'On The Right Path' With Samsung Partnership]

"It's an aggressive move for sure. That's one of the reasons that BlackBerry brought in [CEO] John Chen in to lead the recovery," said Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Xylotek Solutions, an Ontario-based solution provider and BlackBerry partner. "He has a propensity to make smart, timely and aggressive moves to help companies in regrowth mode. BlackBerry's strength, and the Passport in particular, is being a strong player in the enterprise landscape. To make that move right after Apple has released their phablet model iPhones, it takes more of the wind out of the sales at Apple considering their push into the enterprise."

Apple said earlier this year that it's partnering with IBM to make a concerted push into the mobile enterprise market. The two companies will stock iPhones and iPads with more than 200 custom-made enterprise-focused apps. Grosfield said he BlackBerry promotion could cause iPhone users to think about which enterprise device they would rather have.

"They've been putting a lot of time and effort toward that at Apple," Grosfield said. "It's a slick move at BlackBerry to throw a wrench into Apple's plans. BlackBerry has a longstanding reputation in that space, and Apple and Android don't. BlackBerry may have shrunk globally in the consumer market, but they are very focused today. I think BlackBerry is taking full advantage of their reputation here. They'll get some traction on it for sure, and they'll definitely move some hardware. The Passport is a remarkable device."

BlackBerry recently said it is partnering with Samsung to take on Apple and IBM in the mobile enterprise space. Samsung and BlackBerry will be selling each other's mobile security technology as part of the deal, allowing mobile enterprise customers to purchase Samsung devices packed with secure BlackBerry software.

According to BlackBerry's trade-up program website, the company will offer up to $240 for the iPhone 4s, up to $300 for the iPhone 5, up to $280 for the 5c, up to $385 for the 5s and up to $550 for the new iPhone 6.

NEXT: BlackBerry’s Is Largest iPhone Trade-In Promotion To Date

This is the largest iPhone trade-in promotion by any vendor to date, beating out last year's deal by Microsoft when it offered up to $350 to users who traded in their iPhones.

"I can't imagine an iPhone 6 user trading in their new iPhone 6 at this point, but it is extremely aggressive for BlackBerry to offer that base a chance to switch over," said Robby Hill, founder and CEO of HillSouth, a Florence, S.C.-based BlackBerry partner. "This might not be the only motivation people would have to trade over, but if they were already thinking about switching, this will give the more incentive to do so. I'm looking at the opportunity here. For example, if I traded an iPhone 4s against a regular phone upgrade, I'd be lucky to get $50 or $60, but with this I might get $240, so it's a strong reason to switch platforms. If this pans out, Microsoft and Android will be under pressure to do the same."

BlackBlackBerry is expected to launch its new smartphone, the BlackBerry Classic, at an event in New York Dec. 17. It is not yet known if the Classic will also be part of the promotion.


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