Rogers Takes a Pass on BlackBerry’s Newest Flagship Phone

Published on October 4, 2013
by John Paczkowski

Blackberry_z30When BlackBerry’s latest smartphone debuts in Canada this month, it will do so without the support of one of the country’s largest wireless carriers.

Rogers Communications has decided not to carry the BlackBerry Z30, the successor to the Z10, and the struggling smartphone pioneer’s new flagship device. The carrier characterized its decision to forgo the five-inch touchscreen Z30 as a routine one, insisting that it’s unrelated to BlackBerry’s current troubles.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with whatever anyone thinks is going on with BlackBerry,” Rob Bruce, Rogers’ president of communications, told the Globe and Mail. “People are trying to attach some significance to this decision. There isn’t any.”

Maybe so. And, to be fair, Rogers does plan to continue selling BlackBerry’s Q10, Q5 and Z10. But, given the two companies’ business relationship of more than 20 years and the uncertainty around BlackBerry’s future, Rogers’ snub of the flagship Z30 is an obvious blow.

Rogers boasts the largest number of BlackBerry subscribers in Canada, and it played a major role in the launch of BlackBerry 10. Its decision to pass on the Z30 may not be a vote of non-confidence in BlackBerry, but it certainly reads as one. Nor does it bode well for sales of the device. Currently, only three North American carriers have announced plans to carry the Z30 — Bell Canada and Telus in Canada, and Verizon in the U.S.

BlackBerry declined to comment on the matter.

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