I reported last week that BlackBerry had officially responded to Detwiler Fenton analyst Jeff Johnston’s claim that Z10 return rates in the U.S. were exceeding sales. The company rubbished these reports as completely false and said that Z10 return rates aren’t abnormally high, rather they’re in line with the rates for other premium smartphones in the market. Apparently the company was furious about these claims and said that it would ask regulators in both the U.S. and Canada to investigate. BlackBerry’s Chief Legal Officer even chimed in, saying that the claims were “materially false and misleading” and that they were deliberately made for the purpose of influencing the markets.
Verizon has backed up BlackBerry’s claim that Z10 rates aren’t astronomically high. The carrier said in a statement that after 14 days since its launch the quality performance has been in line with their other smartphone launches. BlackBerry said that it would present its formal request to U.S. and Canadian regulators in the next several days. While the entire analyst debacle can not be construed as an attempt to manipulate stock, which is something that the SEC is not too fond of, it’ll no doubt be interesting to see what results the investigation turns up.
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