T-Mobile to stop stocking BlackBerry phones in its retail locations

Squashing the hopes of many, we're sure

BlackBerry can take one U.S. carrier off the list of retail locations where its phones are stocked.

T-Mobile is done keeping BlackBerry smartphones inventory in its retail stores, Reuters reported today.

The publication spoke with David Carey, executive vice president for corporate services at T-Mobile, who laid out T-Mo's plan. The nation's No. 4 carrier will continue shipping devices directly, but will forgo stocking BB handsets in brick-and-mortar stores.

"[K]eeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient," Carey said, for the simple matter that customers weren't buying them.

Most T-Mobile BlackBerries are bought by businesses, he explained. He added, somewhat confusingly, that phones will still be displayed and sold "for those customers who would like to see one."

A T-Mobile representative told AllThingsD that devices will still occupy shelf space in T-Mobile stores, and if the device isn't in stock, it can be ordered in the store.

In other words, if a store happens to have the BlackBerry you want, you're free to buy it, but if it's out of stock, your only option is to order it online or through the store.

Shriveling, but not gone for good

BlackBerry announced last week that it would pull back from the consumer market, instead focusing on enterprise and prosumer products. It will cut its future smartphone lineup from six to four devices.

The company is also in the early stages of going private, with a $4.7 billion offer on the table from a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings.

As BlackBerry restructures, at least two carriers - Verizon and AT&T - plan to keep selling BlackBerry devices in stores. The carriers gave their assurances to AllThingsD that sales would continue, while Sprint declined to comment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.