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With negative surveys, high return rates, BlackBerry 10 software improvements may be on the way

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Updated. BlackBerry’s(s bbry) 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,(s GOOG) while 19.7 percent say nothing would get them to buy an iPhone.(s AAPL)

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.

39 Responses to “With negative surveys, high return rates, BlackBerry 10 software improvements may be on the way”

  1. Very poor headline. FYI – Look at these copious actual customer reviews linked below and tell me the headline still lines up?

    Paying customers LOVE this product. While I’m sure they will enjoy the 10.1 OS update, it is far from necessary for success. The real headline is this product is a big hit with the only people that matter, not jaded Silicon Valley bloggers or professional skeptics!




    Best Buy:


    Blackberry 10 Belows…i have used this phone for a month now…and its the same old story…update process constantly ties up when i use phone with computer…and all of the media usage through the roxio platform is garbage upon garbage…sell your share now…they will go under just like blockbuster…buy a Samsung for 99$ and shock your system with ease of use and the ability to anything you want for free :)

    • If the z10 was that bad you would not have bought it. Just another troll. If your comments were true then why are 55% of the z10 users coming from previous IOS/android phones? In addition, check out all of the reviews from the various carriers…the 10 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all the phones out there!

  3. Blackberry has already filed an investigation against this false claim to manipulate stock prices. The article can be found here. If succesful Detwiler Fenton’s will be in serious trouble. watch out! You would want to watch out for yourself as well. Blackberry isn’t messing around anymore. I see jail time coming including millions in compensation damages and defamation: here is the article about the invesigation and lawsuit to follow by Blackberry in press release.

  4. hundoman

    Kevin shame on you for publishing this hit piece on Blackberry. Why do you have to fall into the same trap of anything Apple or Samsung does is obviously best for the consumer.

    All Things Digital puts out “All Most Useless” tech pieces and all you have to do is look at Walt Mossberg who is an absolute Apple Fan Boy.

    What is your interest in putting out this sure HIT PIECE on Blackberry. Do you really only want two options for customers in the market place – Apple and Samsung?

    Once Samsung comes out with their Tizen OS in about a year Android is done as an OS on first rate smartphones and tablets.

    PS: by the way the BB10 has the best contacts, calendar, browser setup of any phone on the market and then the Hub feature is an absolute game changer.

  5. Stefano Gaggero

    First, about the survey where 71% would not buy a BB phone. If the survey would have included WP8 the 71% could be halved to 35%… a much less dramatic number.

    Second, your article states: “…analysts are starting to dig deeper in BlackBerry 10 sales figures and finding that return rates are rising.” This was not reported by Detwiler Fenton… you added that bit of information. They do not have any sales figures reporting returns of Z10 because if they did it wouldn’t be a rumor. What they say is “it seems that” and give no other details or reports or names or numbers to back up their claim.

    So why do you imply that there are sales figures? you assumed it?

  6. This phone sucks. It deletes my email and texts every two hours. No one can offer a solution and I have lost so much business due to lost emails and text messages. I really wanted to support blackberry but this phone is totally useless!

  7. Disappointed with an article that borders on blatant mis-information. Isn’t an editor supposed to challenge the validity of the content before it gets published? Full disclosure: I do not own any BB shares. I do enjoy my BB10.

  8. Boston78

    I have one and it’s a fantastic phone. My wife is a huge iPhone fan and has a brand new iPhone 5. She absolutely loves my blackberry z10 and it’s only a matter of time before she switches. I already have a few friends who switched from android to z10. I cannot understand how this phone could be doing bad when everyone loves it. Just go out and get one and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  9. Its a crying shame that these carriers aren’t giving more support to BB10. I’ve gone into at least 2 different AT&T stores and in addition to no posters or prominent placement in the store, none of the sales representatives had a clue about the Z10. I over heard some of them saying they needed to do their BB10 training (that they hadn’t even done it yet). These carriers may not make or break a product, but they sure can help or hurt it…and from what I have seen AT&T isn’t doing BB10 a favor.

  10. Jeff Johnston and Detwiler Fenton are career Blackberry bashers that continually time fraudulent reports to help manipulate the stock price down…go check their past calls

  11. To clarify, the Raymond James survey was performed with 250 customers that are current Apple users, that’s right…go check it out… The survey was an Apple loyalty survey that has been viciously twisted into an anti-Blackberry bash piece. What the survey actually says is that 29% of existing Apple users would try Blackberry.

  12. Frenchman75

    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 (unlocked currently sold out) and 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:

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. whitemike

    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.

    • 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.

  15. 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.