BlackBerry has officially responded to certain stories that started circulating today regarding the Z10. As per these stories, the Z10 launch in U.S. wasn’t off to a very good start, rather it was so bad that Z10 return rates were very high. One analyst was quoted as saying that “returns were exceeding sales,” while Z10 sales at carrier stores were said to have significantly dropped by another analyst. In its statement BlackBerry says that these reports are “absolutely false” and that there aren’t “abnormally high” return rates of the Z10.
The company says that its data shows that return rates for its latest flagship device, in the U.S. and other markets, are better than what they had expected. They also say that the rates are consistent with those for other premium smartphones in the market. Stories such as these have always caused BBRY shares to dip, besides that it isn’t exactly good publicity. BlackBerry needs these devices to succeed, with the Q10 scheduled to come out later this month, they’ll have another offering for prospective customers. Perhaps the company does have an image problem in the U.S., considering that according to a survey almost 83% of the people did not know BlackBerry 10 had launched.
However, Julien Blin, who is an analyst at Infonetics believes that the company might have had fairly low expectations of Z10 sales, so one must be skeptical about BlackBerry’s statement regarding sales exceeding their expectations. Though Julien does mention that ITC’s figures haven’t exactly been always spot on in the past as they don’t capture data from all key retail channels, their data mostly comes from small resellers which isn’t enough to warrant a claim such as “returns exceeding sales.”