By Vamien McKalin | Apr 12, 2013 09:45 AM EDT
Research in Motion is in big trouble, as Blackberry Z10 doesn't seem to be kicking off in ways the company would have hoped. In fact, many customers are actually returning the device, which is probably hurting RIM more than anything else.
BlackBerry returned to the market in the hope of regaining much-needed market share with the BlackBerry 10 operating system and BlackBerry Z10 handset. However, as it turns out, early adopters are regretting their purchase of the new phone and sales in the U.S. have weakened day after day since release.
"The U.S. launch of the Z10 started poorly and weakened significantly as the days passed," Joseph Fersedi, an analyst at ITG Investment Research, said Thursday in a note to Bloomberg, citing information from independent dealers. Some U.S. retailers are seeing a significant increase in customers returning their Z10s because they find the interface unintuitive, Detwiler Fenton & Co. said.
"In several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before," Detwiler Fenton said.
Not everything may be as it seems, though, as RIM is in disagreement with Detwiler Fenton's claims. The company stated in an email that "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."
The latest Kantar figures showed BlackBerry sitting at the bottom of the pile behind Android, iOS and Windows Phone both in the UK, U.S. and Internationally. In the United States, BlackBerry fell from a 3.7 percent share to 0.7 in the three months leading up to February 2013.
One has to wonder what the next move is for BlackBerry now that the future is beginning to look dark and gloomy. We've heard of the BlackBerry Q10 with a physical QWERTY keyboard, but that device is not expected to give RIM the boost it needs. The time to sellout and recover losses may be more apparent each passing day.
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