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BlackBerry Stays Alive; Apple Expands Its Universe: Tech Weekly

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry posted a profit, stunning Wall Street, as the handset maker fought to live another day.

BlackBerry earned 22 cents a share on $2.7 billion in revenue during its fiscal fourth quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company, formerly known as Research In Motion, to lose 29 cents on $2.84 billion in revenue.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it shipped 6 million BlackBerry smartphones, including 1 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones and 370,000 PlayBook tablets. About 55% of BlackBerry 10 users came from other platforms, CEO Thorsten Heins noted on a conference call. The company ended the quarter with a subscriber base of 76 million, down from 79 million in the third quarter.

BlackBerry shares traded higher for the week, rising 22% in the first quarter.



T-Mobile is finally getting an Apple iPhone 5 it can call its own.

The T-Mobile iPhone will be among the first to be priced under its new no-contract plan. That means the iPhone -- as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the BlackBerry Z10 (which went on sale this week), the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV (expected May 1) and the HTC One will sell for $99 down and $20 per month for 24 months.

The model is designed to take advantage of the company's new LTE network that T-Mobile says it's building across the country. Unlike other iPhone models, T-Mobile unit will benefit from being able to "fall back" to its current HSPA+ 4G network speeds instead of the 2G or 3G back-ups that other carriers use.

That idea is part of T-Mobile's plan for simplifying how consumers buy and pay for a phone. The company calls itself the "un-carrier." Unlike other major carriers, T-Mobile is offering no-contract plans with unlimited voice, text and messaging plus a minimum of 500 KB of data for $50 a month. Additional data will be added at cost in 2 GB increments.

T-Mobile estimates that after two years, users will be done paying for their phone. Comparing the new plans with the competition (the company used AT&T as an example), T-Mobile estimates the savings as more than $1,000 over a two-year span.

MetroPCS shares traded higher for the week, closing the first quarter of 2013 up 9.7%.