Analysts Note Doom for BlackBerry Z10, RIM Responds with Investigation

Not that long ago, we wrote about the big question mark that stands after the BlackBerry and their Z10 smartphone flagship. Times haven?t changed significantly in that regards, but the alarm was triggered anyway, when the two separate reports noted that BlackBerry Z10 is indeed having a ?weak launch.? 

One report came from the ITG analyst Joe Fersedi, who noted that ?the Z10 launch ?started poorly and weakened significantly as the days passed,? and that the sales were ?anemic?. Another source was the Detwiler Fenton, and their analyst Jeff Johnston wrote: ?We believe key retail partners have seen a significant increase in Z10 returns to the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before.? Jonhston did note, however, that the BlackBerry device Q10 is expected to perform better in the market than the Z10 without the physical keyboard.

Blackberry did respond immediately after those reports got attention of numerous media: ?BlackBerry wishes to respond to media coverage today regarding speculation that there have been abnormally high levels of returns of BlackBerry Z10 devices. This is absolutely false. Our data shows that return rates for BlackBerry Z10 devices both in the U.S. and on a global basis are in line with or better than our expectations and are consistent with return rates for other premium smartphones in the market today.? Suffice it to say that the stock market went bonkers. 

With such development, Research In Motion (doing business as BlackBerry) went into offensive only a day after, stating that it will ask U.S. and Canada regulators (OSC and SEC) to investigate ?materially false and misleading comments? on the sales of the Z10 unit. Detwiler provided a statement to this by saying that their research was done properly: "We are confident in our research methodology and we welcome any regulatory inquiry."

Speculation emerged that someone did this deliberately in order to manipulate the stock market, and it is up to investigators to discover what is actually going on. The Canadian phone maker recently announced they received an order for one million of their Z10 smartphones, though the recent earnings call (Q4 2013) apparently didn?t include the U.S. sales.