Rogers reverses decision after backlash, says it will sell BlackBerry Z30 The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone is pictured in this publicity photo. (BlackBerry.com)
David Friend, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 9, 2013 5:51PM EDT
TORONTO -- Rogers Communications says loyal BlackBerry smartphone users have spoken.
The telecom giant has reversed its decision not to carry the upcoming BlackBerry Z30 smartphone due to a strong response from its customers -- particularly on social media.
Rogers has told The Canadian Press it plans to sell the phone on its website, as well as through its national reservation system and directly to business customers.
The move comes after Rogers faced a backlash on message boards and Twitter last week from customers.
Some users accused the telecom provider of abandoning a fellow Canadian company while it was struggling to turn around its operations.
Others made a point of saying they would cancel their Rogers services if the company didn't change its mind.
The controversy set off a whirlwind of activity from some of Rogers' competitors, including Telus (TSX:T) which tweeted some disgruntled Rogers customers to assure them another carrier was waiting in the wings if they decided to switch providers.
BlackBerry (TSX:BB) has said the Z30 will be stocked by other Canadian carriers like Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus, as well as retailers like Best Buy and Future Shop, starting Oct. 15. Prices will be set by the retailers.
The BlackBerry Z30 comes with a five-inch screen, improved battery life and faster processor than the models released earlier this year. It's larger than most smartphones, but smaller than the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which the company recently stopped producing after two years.
The new Z30 was launched in Malaysia in September with little fanfare, shortly before BlackBerry announced it would lose nearly $1 billion in the second quarter as it wrote down the value of unsold smartphones and prepared to cut about 4,500 jobs, or 40 per cent of its global workforce.
Read more: Rogers reverses decision after backlash, says it will sell BlackBerry Z30 | CTV News