That's according to a new report coming from Roger Cheng over at CNET who spoke with a high-level executive who asked not to be named.
"The BlackBerry Priv is really struggling," the high-level executive, who asked not to be named, said last week. "We've seen more returns than we would like."
So what's the noted cause for the returns? Well, many factors are behind it, at least one of which BlackBerry CEO John Chen has already stated might have been an issue for sales of Priv. Pricing and a saturated market for high-end devices.
AT&T offered a more detailed account of why the Priv has disappointed. BlackBerry and the carrier expected to see demand for an Android phone with a physical keyboard. Instead, most of the buyers were BlackBerry loyalists, the executive said. Those faithful, however, struggled with the transition from the BlackBerry operating system to the Android operating system, leading to a higher-than-expected rate of return.
BlackBerry's decision to market the phone as a high-end device also hurt its prospects, the executive said. The Priv initially sold unlocked for $699, above the starting price of the iPhone 6S, which sells for $650. Few premium phones have fared well beyond devices from Apple and Samsung.
"There isn't much volume growth in the premium segment, where Apple and Samsung dominate," the executive said.
Personally, I take a little bit of an issue with the definitive sounding reason as to why the Priv would see a high-than-expected rate of return. If I were looking to buy a Priv, AT&T (and Verizon) would be the last places I would purchase one simply because their update procedures have proven to be terrible.
While ShopBlackBerry and Amazon purchased Priv's have received their Marshmallow updates and all current security patches, AT&T (and other U.S. carrier) versions have had no such luxury. I'd return a device too if I found I could get better support just by purchasing it elsewhere. Still, the comment may have some validity based on user reviews and opinions we've seen come up in the CrackBerry Forums, where folks have tried Priv and ultimately returned to BlackBerry 10 devices.
At this point, it's hard to say how on accurate the anonymous executives comments are but BlackBerry does have their Q1 Fiscal 2017 earnings call and report coming up on June 23, 2016. At that point, we should gain more insight into how well BlackBerry hardware is doing. The exec will want to ensure he stays anonymous, though, last time things didn't fare so well for the people leaking sales details.