TORONTO – BlackBerry (TSX:BB) 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 (TSX:RCI.B) 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 like Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T) 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.
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 which showed that sales of its new Blackberry 10 devices have been faltering. The company 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.
A potential takeover of BlackBerry has heightened attention on what will happen to the company, with Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFX), BlackBerry’s biggest shareholder, emerging last week with a preliminary US$4.7-billion takeover offer.
BlackBerry shares were down 24 cents to $8.03 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.