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  • lakers_w lakers_w Apr 11, 2013 5:18 PM Flag

    BlackBerry sinks as Z10 stumbles

    BlackBerry BBRY -7.76% remained weak on several analyst reports that highlighted Z10’s disappointing launch.

    BlackBerry Enlarge Image
    BlackBerry shares slide after sales of Z10 miss targets.
    “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,” said analysts at Detwiler Fenton in a report.

    The most common complaints from customers are that the phone’s user interface and maps application are “unintuitive” and that the device has a tendency to slow down after several hours, the analysts said.

    BlackBerry rejected the claims and said return rates are in line with expectations. “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,” said the Canadian smartphone maker in an emailed statement. However, it declined to provide specific data on returns.

    Joe Fersedi, an analyst at ITG, said that in the first 17 days of sales at AT&T, the Z10 is lagging behind almost every other major launch.

    “The clear takeaway from the independent dealer channel is that the US launch of the Z10 started poorly and weakened significantly as the days passed—relative to comps at both AT&T and Verizon,” he said in a note.

    Meanwhile, Pacific Crest Securities on Thursday reiterated its underperform rating on the stock.

    “Even if the Z10 were able to maintain its current sell-through run-rate based on our initial checks, it would still amount to less than 1 million units per month. We believe that a run-rate below that level would make it very difficult for BlackBerry to return to long-term profit growth,” said James Faucette at Pacific Crest.