BlackBerry to seek regulatory review of report on Z10 return rates

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: April 12, 2013

BlackBerry Z10 AT&T

There's almost always quite a bit of speculation and analysis that accompanies the launch of a major new smartphone as everyone scrambles to find out just how well the device is performing at retail. That's been especially true with the BlackBerry Z10, as the combination of a new phone running a new OS from a company that's not exactly doing as well as it used to be has gotten just about everyone in the mobile scene interested in the Z10's sales.

One party that recently weighed in on the matter of BlackBerry Z10 sales is research and investment firm Detwiler Fenton. The group claimed yesterday that the Z10's return rate has actually exceeded the device's sales numbers. Now BlackBerry is coming out to fight Detwiler Fenton's report, saying that it plans to seek out reviews of the firm's claims from both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as Canada's Ontario Securities Commission.

BlackBerry Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein today described Detwiler Fenton's claims as "false and misleading" and said that the company plans to present a formal request to the SEC and OSC in the coming days. BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins also weighed in on Detwiler Fenton's report:

“Sales of the BlackBerry® Z10 are meeting expectations and the data we have collected from our retail and carrier partners demonstrates that customers are satisfied with their devices. 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.” 

BlackBerry shares fell nearly 8 percent after these claims of the Z10's return rate came out. The company formerly known as RIM says that Detwiler Fenton refused to share its investor report or methodology, and so considering all of that, it's not entirely surprising to learn that BlackBerry plans to call for a formal review of Detwiler Fenton's claims. The Z10 and BlackBerry 10 OS are big deals for BlackBerry since the company hasn't exactly been lighting the mobile world on fire lately, and so it needs to take action against reports like the one from Detwiler Fenton that it believes are false. Now we just have to wait and see if the SEC and OSC feel the same way about Detwiler Fenton's claim.

Via BlackBerry, Bloomberg

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