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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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By EricMartello on 8/18/2010 5:35:42 PM , Rating: 3
I think that is definitely a part of it. There are a lot more "smartphone" options now and the blackberry is probably losing ground to people who bought one without really needing is more advanced features. Business users were the original target for smartphones because they actually benefitted from being able to check and write email, schedule appts, maintain a calendar and all that with top-notch security.

I still use my BB8800 and I've always been satisfied with it. The thing I don't like about the new crop of smartphones is the heavy reliance on a touchscreen. Fcuk touchscreen! I don't want to be constantly wiping finger smudges off because of this iphone-wannabe fixation that's sweeping the smartphone market. I like buttons and I don't want a phone that ONLY has a touchscreen. I'd rather it have a nice screen, even if the screen is smaller, and a good keypad.

The Blackberry is very good at what it does, which is to communicate - as a phone or by text. BBM is probably one of the best...if not THE best...mobile messaging platforms (but I hate the commercials). Sure, you will not find as many game or entertainment options but guess what...the BB is made for business people who spend less time wasting time and more time getting things done.


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