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BlackBerry Disputes Returns Report for New Z10

April 13, 2013

By Gilbert Falso :: 5:34 PM

Unusually high number BlackBerry returns.BlackBerry is bristling at analyst reports issued late last week by ITG Investment Research and Detwiler Fenton, an investment research firm, that show more customers returning the new Z10 handset than keeping it.

Editor’s note – When news of this story broke, it was initially unclear which reports BlackBerry took issue with. The company and ITG have since clarified that it is the Detwiler Fenton report that BlackBerry is disputing, and not ITG’s findings.

“The U.S. launch of the Z10 started poorly and weakened significantly as the days passed,” noted Joseph Fersedi, an analyst at ITG. Some retailers in the U.S. are showing an uptick  in customers returning the new handsets because the interface is difficult to use, in some cases, the analysts at Detwiler Fenton claimed, returns were exceeding sales.

BlackBerry lashed out on Friday at the reports, and said that it will seek the help of securities regulators in both the United States and Canada (where it is headquartered) to investigate the reports. BlackBerry’s stock price has dropped significantly this month, and suffered a drop of nearly 8% when this news broke on Thursday afternoon.

The company claims that sales of its new flagship Z10 handset have not suffered from out-of-the-ordinary return rates.

“To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation,” said BlackBerry’s CEO, Thorsten Heins. “Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and BlackBerry will not leave it unchallenged.”