BlackBerry to demand probe over rates row
Toronto, April 13, 2013
BlackBerry plans to ask securities regulators in Canada and the US to probe what it said is a "false and misleading" report that consumer return rates for its new Z10 smartphone have been high.
The Canadian company, which has pinned its turnaround hopes on its new BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones, went on the offensive yesterday after the report from little known Boston-based research and investment firm Detwiler Fenton sent its stock tumbling on Thursday.
BlackBerry said return rates for its flagship Z10 devices have been at, or below, its forecasts and in line with industry norms.
"To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation," chief executive Thorsten Heins said. "Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and BlackBerry will not leave it unchallenged."
BlackBerry said Detwiler Fenton had so far refused to share its report or its methods. It said it would present a formal request for an investigation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and to the Ontario Securities Commission, which is Canada's major securities regulator, over the next few days.
"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," Detwiler Fenton's report said.
BlackBerry is attempting to claw back market share lost to Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy smartphones with its new line of devices, powered by the BlackBerry 10 operating system.-Reuters