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BlackBerry on the warpath over Z10 sales return claims

CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry is facing a tough time in the market and sales figures for its first Blackberry 10 device, the Z10, are hardly likely to have Apple and Samsung worried.

However, the firm is clearly not ready to be walked on by overzealous analysts looking for a headline, after Blackberry went on the warpath in response to claims that Z10 buyers are rushing to return their devices.

According to a report from analyst Detwiler Fenton, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, the number of US returns is now outnumbering sales in some cases.

It is something of a first, Detwiler analyst Jeff Johnston told the WSJ, but the claims did not sit well with those in Canada, and the firm has issued a robust response. "Return rate statistics show that we are at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry," fumed Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins.

"To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation. Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and Blackberry will not leave it unchallenged."

Blackberry got its chief legal officer, Steve Zipperstein, involved to underline how seriously it is taking this incident. "These materially false and misleading comments about device return rates in the United States harm Blackberry and our shareholders, and we call upon the appropriate authorities in Canada and the United States to conduct an immediate investigation," he said.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the merits of the many competing products in the smartphone industry, but when false statements of material fact are deliberately purveyed for the purpose of influencing the markets a red line has been crossed." Blackberry said it will ask the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Ontario Securities Commission to review the "false and misleading report" as well. Clearly.

Blackberry is determined to ensure the market knows the firm is here to stay and intends to go on fighting, whether that's against rival manufacturers or Wall Steet number crunchers. µ

This article was originally published on V3.
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