BlackBerry says its latest smartphone will arrive in Canada later this month, but it won't have the support of one of the country's largest carriers.
The smartphone maker says Rogers Communications has decided not to stock the new BlackBerry Z30, a touch-screen model similar in size to a Samsung Galaxy 4, when it's released on Oct. 15 at various Canadian retailers.
BlackBerry says the Z30 will be stocked by other Canadian carriers, including Bell and Telus, as well as retailers like Best Buy and Future Shop. Prices will be set by the various retailers.
Rogers did not immediately respond for comment on its decision not to carry the new phone, a surprise since the Toronto-based company was an early adopter of BlackBerry products during the company's infancy.
Rogers also hosted the Canadian debut of the new BlackBerry phones at its headquarters in February, with BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins and Rogers head Nadir Mohamed posing for photos together.
Restructuring affecting device sales
The new BlackBerry Z30 comes with a five-inch screen, improved battery life and faster processor than the models released earlier this year.
The device is larger than most smartphones but smaller than the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which the company recently stopped producing after two years.
Earlier this week, BlackBerry filed documents with regulators that showed that sales of its new BlackBerry Z10 devices have been faltering.
It also said that the launch of its recent strategic review process "may have negatively impacted demand for the company's products" in its most recent quarter.
BlackBerry expects to have $400 million US in charges on the books before the end of May 2014 related to the cost of layoffs, the reworking of its smartphone lineup and other changes to its manufacturing, sales and marketing operations. That's four times more than it anticipated earlier this year.
In its second-quarter results released last week, the company said it had sold 3.7 million smartphones in the second quarter, a drop of 74 per cent from the 14.5 million it sold in its best quarter ever, almost three years ago.
It reported second-quarter loss of $965 million and revenues of $1.6 billion, a decline of 45 per cent from the same period last year.
A potential takeover of BlackBerry has heightened attention on what will happen to the company, with Fairfax Financial Holdings, BlackBerry's biggest shareholder, emerging last week with a preliminary $4.7-billion US takeover offer.
On Wednesday, the company's stock rallied on news that a private equity firm in the U.S., Cerberus Capital Management, was also kicking the tires of the failing company, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that it had signed a confidentiality agreement that would allow it to access BlackBerry's private financial information.
BlackBerry shares were down around 2.4 per cent on the Nasdaq, trading at $7.77 US in early afternoon trading. It was down about three per cent on the TSX, trading at $8.02 Cdn.