BlackBerry Tour's return rate is as high as 50% due to trackball issues
Looks like Verizon and Sprint aren't sitting too well with their latest BlackBerry offerings partly because of high return rates. The BlackBerry Tour has graced both carriers' lineups recently, but the Tour's trackball problems has become a black eye for RIM – this issue can greatly impact RIM's bottom line. Owners of the device are reporting frequent cleaning of the trackball to prevent it from clogging or wearing out. When it becomes extremely prevalent, owners just end up returning it to the carrier. Almost 50 percent of the Sprint Tours are being returned while Verizon is “angry” enough about the issue that they're telling stores to expect a shift in support to Motorola's soon to be Android smartphone. Sprint did some investigating and reported that a slight increase in quality control costs of 3 percent or less can compensate for the problem. RIM hasn't really addressed the issue with the trackball, but they do plan on moving away from it and towards optical trackpads for future non-touch phones.