BlackBerry 10 doesn’t seem to be a hit with surveyed consumers and handset return rates are reportedly high. Can software improvements turn the tide or does BlackBerry simply have a marketing problem?

BlackBerry Z10 White

Updated. BlackBerry’s next software update could arrive with the company’s second handset, the BlackBerry Q10. Pre-orders for the smartphone with physical keyboard have already started and now a BlackBerry enthusiast site claims to have information on the updated software, which will also be pushed to the currently available BlackBerry Z10.

Some of the expected improvements, says the BBNews blog, are support for sending PIN-based text messages in the BlackBerry Hub, an update to the camera to support HDR photos, and BlackBerry Link, which is a way to browse data files on a remote computer. The blog, based in Poland, isn’t one I’ve followed prior, but the reported features don’t sound far-fetched. Even if these functions do arrive on BlackBerry 10 devices soon, they can’t come soon enough.

BlackBerry Z10A survey by Raymond James, reported by AllThingsD on Thursday, show that 71 percent of survey participants would never use a BlackBerry. That compares to 31.3 percent who have no interest in using Android, while 19.7 percent say nothing would get them to buy an iPhone.

Additionally, analysts are starting to dig deeper in BlackBerry 10 sales figures and finding that return rates are rising. “In several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before,” noted analyst Detwiler Fenton in statement to Bloomberg. Fenton says the unintuitive interface is a barrier, which could be the case, although there are only a handful of gestures needed to use the phone in my experience.

The bigger issue in my mind? Marketing. I haven’t seen the type of media blitz on television or elsewhere that Samsung and Apple typically use to promote their products. Software improvements are welcome — as are more native apps from top-tier development shops — but even the best products on the planet will never reach their sales potential without good old marketing.

Update: BlackBerry is refuting the return figures and seeking government review of the analyst statements.

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  1. Kevin, I am very surprised by this article. You typically reflect a balanced and credible approach to your writing. This article has neither quality. The “survey” you cite has no context for its results; how many people were surveyed, was it a random sample, etc. The Blackberry sales and return report you cite has already been discredited by Blackberry in its own written statement. Analysts are notoriously interested in protected their investments rather than providing credible information. Please carefully weigh their motivations before giving them credence in your well respected articles.

  2. Yea, this guys must be smoking crack. I’ve bought three and have yet to return one. The OS is hands down the best I’ve ever touched. And I’ve touched them all as a helpdesk admin. This is just another example of “tech” writers not doing their homework. Next.

    1. Oh please spare us your “real world” experience of how great your three (!) units are. Help Desk admin? More like paid fan boy. Anyone here that’s read Kevin’s articles should know better than to question his integrity by accusing of of smoking crack.

      You take offense to me calling you out help desk boy? Take it like a man.

  3. I would say that is rubbish and where did you ask this people what phone they would prefer

  4. He went to the Apple store of course.

    1. Read his articles help desk boy. He’s a proponent of good Android devices. Now look who’s got their facts wrong.

      Here, make a ticket or case number for my gripe help desk boy. And the close it out.

      1. This article is piece of shit. As well as survey is not credible, so is far from credibility the rumor about high returns rate. So, how credible is this article? Less then nothing…

        1. The only credible source in this article is BBNews.pl. LOL

  5. “returns are now exceeding sales”

    How is that even theoretically possible?

    1. How? You sell a 100,000 phones the first month, the second month sales drop to 10,000, and 20,000 get returned.

      What the ratio of returns to sales in the second month?

  6. Unfortunately, blackberry has been victimized by ridiculous commentary by third rate firms and analysts who clearly have a significant short interest in BB. BB10’s operating system is definitely different but the learning curve is only about an hour or so and once you get the hang of it, it’s a joy to use. No one seems to be having a problem with it anywhere else, and Americans are no less competent with technology. The report is bogus, as BlackBerry has already indicated, and it amazes me that they are bombarded with daily doses of utter nonsense from hack analysts and their always anonymous sources.

  7. He is on crystel meth. He is a. ifanboy.

  8. I checked out each providers reviews section and its getting 5 stars on each. Everyone review the device seems to love it. *shrug*

  9. Those reports are the biggest uninformed laughable pieces of garbage. Same scenario happened when Pacific Crest and Cannacord said Blackberry would only sell 300,000 Z10 in February, which was completely wrong. They sold 1 million with only two countries selling the phone. Here is the reason why, 150 millions shares sold short as at March 28 2013. These analysts are trying to manipulate the market to get their clients out of the short positions they got them into. I have done my own channel checks, the phone is selling really well in UK, France, Canada Hong Kong, India, Malaysia AND THE USA. The Z10 is among the top selling phones on Bestbuy.com (unlocked currently sold out) and Amazon.com. Customer reviews are outstanding for the most part, check AT&T, Verizon and Tmobile websites if you don’t believe me. Blackberry is making a big comeback and the Q10 is not even out yet. A little bit more patience and all these shorts and foamy analysts are going to get incinerated.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/more-people-are-returning-blackberry-z10-2013-4#ixzz2QD6vcPWb

    1. You know Frenchie, I’ve heard this spin before with the Playbook. I don’t give a crap if it sells well in rest of the world. If it doesn’t do we’ll here in the US, it’s toast. Comprenez-vous?

      1. Dude… why so negative and angry? The level of vitriol in your posts are well… kinda over the top. Name calling, stereotyping, crassness aren’t compelling arguments.

      2. And where do you get that from? Do you know anybody at Blackberry who told you it’s not selling well? Have you done your own channel checks? Do you even know know that 4,000 enterprises in the US signed up for the BES 10 program being rolled out in May? What I don’t understand is why people like you keep on bashing Blackberry without any facts to back what they are saying? Did you see that the SEC is going after Detwiler Fenton and their analyst Jeff Johnston for spreading lies about the company? I’ll give one final reason why Blackberry is about to make a big comeback: Watch this https://mail.iiroc.ca/owa/redir.aspx?C=gjeky9RIqkOV2Aw0aElpjQvX4tr3C9AI-fjYSq3K_0dKe3J0Pj4I6AfO-OfclgWu7J9E9sF4n5Y.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fvideo.foxbusiness.com%2fv%2f2264140895001%2fandroid-phones-face-biggest-risk-from-cyber-attack%2f%3fplaylist_id%3d933116624001

        1. Hello, Frenchman. I currently am using the z10 on T-Mobile USA. I’ve used blackberry in the past and am a fan. Could you please email me the link to the video you posted? I clicked on it and could not get to a video.n just a log in screen. Help!

          Email: cjandesnuts@gmail.com

          Thank you

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