BlackBerry strikes back against claims of high Z10 returns

BlackBerry Z10
Won't make jelly out of this BlackBerry

In response to recent claims that its BlackBerry Z10 has seen more returns than it has sales, the smartphone maker formerly known as Research in Motion is lashing out with complaints to U.S. and Canadian regulators.

BlackBerry is not taking accusations lobbed at its flagship Z10 smartphone lightly, condemning the comments as "false and misleading" in a statement published Friday.

On Thursday, a report from investment firm Detwiler Fenton claimed BlackBerry Z10 carriers were seeing an exceptionally high rate of returns in the U.S., which analyst Jeff Johnston referred to as "a phenomenon we have never seen before." The phone maker's share price slipped significantly Thursday.

In response, BlackBerry plans to ask the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Ontario Securities Commission to formally review the research firm's claims, which the company has rebuffed as "absolutely false."

Meeting expectations

"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," BlackBerry Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein remarked in a statement.

"Return rate statistics show that we are at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry," BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins added.

Detwiler Fenton appears unfazed by threats of a potential investigation, with General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer Anne Buckley pointing out its analyst wasn't the the only one "publishing similar reports regarding customer reactions, sales and returns" for the BlackBerry Z10.

With so much riding on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that powers the Z10, BlackBerry executives appear to be thus far pleased with the smartphone's current sales, which are said to have topped one million units shipped in the first quarter.