TORONTO — The new BlackBerry touchscreen smartphones are not being returned at an unusually high rate, despite suggestions to the contrary, according to an industry observer who has completed his own checks.
Jefferies telecom analyst Peter Misek, who has watched the BlackBerry company for years, says he considers the number of new BlackBerry Z10 phones being returned by customers “normal” for a new phone launch.
The report comes after the company, which formerly called itself Research In Motion, launched a fight against what it called a “false and misleading” analyst report.
Detwiler Fenton published a note saying that a very high number of BlackBerry Z10s were being returned to stores by customers.
The smartphone maker has responded by saying it will ask securities regulators in Canada and the United States to investigate the Detwiler Fenton claim, which it says harms both its reputation and its shareholders.
Misek’s report on Tuesday did not include any hard figures, only anecdotal evidence.
But Misek’s comments did point to what could be interpreted as a communication gaffe in the BlackBerry marketing campaign.
“Of the few phones that were returned, the only main commonality we found is that buyers thought the Z10 had a keyboard,” he wrote.
“As it does not, they returned it and will buy the Q10 (keypad model) instead.”
The physical keypad BlackBerry is expected to arrive in Canadian stores by the end of the month.