updated 02:26 pm EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Return rates claim by analyst 'gross misreading' of sales data
BlackBerry has asked for US regulators to investigate claims made by an analyst over its flagship handset. The manufacturer is filing a dispute with the Ontario Securities Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission over comments made by Jeff Johnson of Detwiler Fenton, claiming that returns of the Z10 were exceeding sales of the handset.
A statement by Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins states that BlackBerry Z10 sales are "meeting expectations," and that customers are "satisfied with their devices." Statistics relating to return rates show the Z10 as "at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry," said Heins, continuing "To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation," and that such statements would not be left unchallenged.
Detwiler Fenton refused to provide its report to investors or methodology to Blackberry, which has forced the carrier to investigate further. BlackBerry Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein said "These materially false and misleading comments about device return rates in the United States harm BlackBerry and our shareholders," before calling upon regulators to investigate. Zipperstein advised that, while everyone can hold their own opinion about various competing products, a "red line has been crossed" when false statements are purposely made.
A recent quarterly results report states that BlackBerry managed to ship 1 million BlackBerry 10 devices since launch, ahead of its US and Canadian release.
BlackBerry will be presenting a formal investigation request to regulators in the next few days.