BlackBerry: High Z10 returns? You're having a laugh

15 Apr 13

BlackBerry has hit back at rumours the newly-released Z10 smartphone is struggling for sales, branding the claims "absolutely false."

In fact, the rebranded Canadian firm went one further, insisting "in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales" across the U.S.

The report, by Boston-based financial services company Detwiler Fenton & Co, claims of the sales BlackBerry have made, many devices have been returned by dissatisfied customers.

"We believe key retail partners have seen a significant increase in Z10 returns," said report Jeff Johnston.

"To the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before."

As with any negativity within the industry, the media jumped on the anti-BlackBerry bandwagon, twisting the knife further.

"What could be worse for BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd. than weak early sales of its new flagship phone?" Will Connors wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

"The possibility that people who did buy the phone are returning it."

Yet the phone maker has felt the need to come out fighting, widely rebuffing claims of underperformance through president and CEO Thorsten Heins.

"Sales of the BlackBerry(R) Z10 are meeting expectations and the data we have collected from our retail and carrier partners demonstrates that customers are satisfied with their devices," Heins said.

"Return rate statistics show that we are at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry.

"To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation.

"Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and BlackBerry will not leave it unchallenged."

Truth be told, BlackBerry has suffered an “underwhelming” response to its newly released device, yet the company's chief legal officer added weight to Heins' claims, offering a full-frontal defence of the smartphone.

Labelling the statement "materially false and misleading," Zipperstein said the claims can "harm BlackBerry and our shareholders, and we call upon the appropriate authorities in Canada and the United States to conduct an immediate investigation."

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the merits of the many competing products in the smartphone industry, but when false statements of material fact are deliberately purveyed for the purpose of influencing the markets a red line has been crossed."

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