Print 37 comment(s) - last by erple2.. on Aug 18 at 7:04 PM

The Blackberry Torch's launch numbers are pretty weak, but it's only launched on AT&T in the U.S., thus far, and has to compete with the iPhone for AT&T subscribers.  (Source: RIM)
Some still swear by the popular line of business-minded smart phones, though

Not long ago, Research in Motion held a commanding lead in the smartphone industry, with over 40 percent of the market in its pocket.  Its BlackBerry smartphones were the choice for business users.

Now it reportedly has been passed in the U.S. by Google's seemingly unstoppable Android platform.  And the iPhone looks to eventually catch up as well, growing at a faster pace than RIM.

RIM's response was to roll out its $199 (with contract) BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider, sporting BlackBerry 6.0 OS.  The launch was RIM's first major hardware re-imagination since the much-maligned Storm.  Early sales numbers aren't looking pretty for RIM's ambitious experiment, though.

Two independent analyst firms -- RBC Capital Markets and Stifel Nicolaus -- said that RIM moved 150,000 units of the BlackBerry Torch over the weekend.  That's a remarkably weak launch, compared to the 1.7 million iPhones sold by Apple in its first week.  In fact, RIM's launch numbers are more reminiscent of the Palm Pre's launch sales.

To be fair, some Android phones like the HTC EVO 4G were highly anticipated and posted similar launch sales numbers.  However, the Android market is more tightly packed and high profile launches come at a frantic pace.  BlackBerry, on the other hand, follows a release schedule somewhere in between Android's and Apple's, with less frequent new device launches.  Thus a less than huge launch could spell trouble for the gadget-maker.

On the other hand, RIM, like Android, has always benefited more from slow-and-steady sales, so it's possible the lackluster launch isn't a trouble sign.  Part of the problem for RIM is mere logistics -- the Torch is currently available only on AT&T.

RIM has not announced when the phone might be coming to America's other big three carriers: Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.  As the Android Galaxy S/Galaxy S Pro smartphones have shown, going multi-carrier is a very successful approach, which instantly expands your market. 

Along with the disappointing sales news, the first parts-cost analysis of the new Torch has hit courtesy of iSuppli.  The research firm says the new BlackBerry costs approximately $171 for components and has a $12 labor cost.  The most expensive components are the $34.85 touchscreen/display assembly, $34.25 Samsung memory chips, and $15 Marvell 625 MHz processor.

Many have criticized the phone's processor as being overly slow, versus Apple's new A4 or the Samsung Hummingbird found in the Epic 4G and its Galaxy S brethren.

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Meh..blackberry is fine
By GruntboyX on 8/17/2010 2:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
If i was blackberry I wouldnt get bent out shape over this. there customer base tends to be more mature and tied to business budgets. The idea that they only sold 150k units so far is not a big deal, because the blackberry does not cater to the techno hipster. What it will do is keep its loyal customers with a decent upgrade path. Blackberry will always make its money in the enterprise space. This is what they are good at. They would be good to not get too caught up in the fickle consumer space.

RE: Meh..blackberry is fine
By mofo3k on 8/17/2010 2:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
You assume that corporations and small businesses aren't migrating to the Android and iOS platforms. And they are.

RE: Meh..blackberry is fine
By Helbore on 8/17/2010 3:36:01 PM , Rating: 1
No IT department worth its salt would even let an iOS device connect to their network. There's been too many security holes crop up for it to be a viable mobile OS in the enterprise space.

The iPhone is a big-boy's toy for the comsumer, not a robust messaging platform that you run your business on.

RE: Meh..blackberry is fine
By ReblTeen84 on 8/17/2010 6:48:00 PM , Rating: 3
This is the truth - we only allow blackberries, partially because we don't use Exchange (Notes). However, many a staff member has berated us for not supporting iOS even though there's a native Notes client for it, and we give it to them straight - the security on it sucks, so it's not allowed on the network.

RE: Meh..blackberry is fine
By erple2 on 8/18/2010 7:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
I was talking with a friend of mine (who has starry eyes for everything Apple, so I take everything he says with a mountain sized grain of salt). How is it possible for you to say the security on the iOS sucks, but he can say that the security of the iOS is better than Blackberry, and is the primary reason why the Federal Government is migrating their wireless device services through iPhone on their networks, over the BlackBerry?

Either a) one of you is wrong, or b) you're curiously both right - the implication that Apple security is terrible, but BlackBerry is even worse.

BTW, if your company relies on Notes, I pity your fellow employees. Unless your company is my company (which uses Notes) in which case, I commiserate with them in our collective general loathing of the text book example of terrible UI design that is known as Notes..

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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