It seems that the Blackberry Torch will be chalked up to a “miss” for RIM. While the Blackberry Torch was announced too much anticipation and fanfare, that doesn’t seem to be converting into sales of the device. According to estimates by analyst, RIM and AT&T sold at a maximum 150,000 over the weekend which at first glance doesn’t seem that bad, but when you find out that Apple’s iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units in its first weekend, you start to see the problem.
The Torch, a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, went on sale Thursday for $199 with a new two-year contract, On Monday, however, Amazon.com slashed the price of the Torch in half to $100. That’s the same price Amazon is offering on the three-month old BlackBerry Bold 9650.
RIM had called the Blackberry Torch its “best Blackberry ever”, but with the phone being exclusive to AT&T, it doesn’t as though many customers are choosing a Blackberry over an iPhone when the cost is equal – aside from business customers of course. It seems that some analyst weren’t surprised by Amazon’s swift price drop and think that AT&T will need to follow suit in order to sustain sales of the new Blackberry. This news doesn’t bode well for RIM, despite them introducing a completely revamped operating system – Blackberry OS 6.
The Blackberry Torch offers a full Web browser, as well as other features common on most of today’s smartphones like social networking integration, universal search, and multiple home screens. It includes a 5 megapixel camera, built-in GPS, and video recording at up to 640×480 resolution.
So what do you think folks, can RIM just not compete with Apple and Google for the casual consumer phone market? Are you planning on buying a Torch? Should they just give up and focus on making products that their business customers will like? Let us know what you think.