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October 10, 2021

Rogers' BlackBerry backlash illustrates 'Buy Canada' mindset

The telecom company announced it would sell the latest BlackBerry after social media furor to news that Rogers wouldn't sell the BlackBerry Z30.

A week ago, the Rogers said it wouldn't offer BlackBerry's flagship phone, but many Canadians were upset that the company wouldn't support another Canadian company. Many users threatened to cancel services with one of the country's largest carriers.

The company has now said that the Z30 can be bought on its website and national reservation system.

Let's be real. BlackBerry is facing a dire situation. It looks like the company's future in smartphones is over with a possible $1 billion write off in unsold touchscreen phones, along with the possible sale and breakup of the company.

Despite the company's odds, Canadians can't help but root for the fallen tech darling. BlackBerry's start up story and growth into a worldwide brand is a great, Canadian story. It's not as common for Canadian companies to grow into a multimillion dollar entity since many of them sell out before they reach that status.

While Rogers partnered with BlackBerry for the company's smartphone debut, Rogers told the Canadian Press they wouldn't carry the phone because, “We believe we can fulfil our customers’ demand for a BlackBerry device with our current lineup." From Rogers' perspective, they likely didn't expect the smartphone to do well among Canadian consumers. They were afraid of getting stuck with unsold inventory of its own that they would need to write off.

As a consumer, would you buy the cheaper product or support your fellow citizens? It's a decision Canadians wrestle with and sometimes you don't get that choice since it comes down to how much money you have and whether or not you can afford to buy the more expensive product. If you're in this boat, there's some consolation that it might be more affordable to buy Canadian since the price gap between Canadian and U.S. products has narrowed, according to a recent BMO report.

How frequently do you pay for a more expensive item because it's sold or made by a Canadian company?

Josephine Lim, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...