Blackberry slider could be a failure
RIM is said to be scratching their heads over the flat sales of the recently released Blackberry 9800 Torch. Sales have been disappointing, to say the least, with our sources confirming that the new slider form factor has apparently struggled to move only a reported 150,000 units in the first three days of release.
While 150,000 units isn’t anything to sneeze at, it isn’t the splash that RIM was expecting with the launch of their first Blackberry OS 6 model. RIM might not have bet the farm on the Torch 9800, but for sure the sales numbers are disappointing. The big question is, what does RIM do now amid price cuts that have already seen the Torch 9800 drop to $199 with a two-year contract?
Reviews of the Torch 9800 were rather uninspired, as were reviewers commenting that really the Torch 9800 didn’t live up to the hype that RIM suggested. When reviews compare the 9800 to the iPhone or even some of the latest Android models, the 624MHz processor and 480x360 pixel display just don’t cut it. Still, it is a significant step forward for RIM in both the OS and design with the first unit that offers much more media and social networking support than seen in previous BlackBerry models.
It is likely that enterprise BlackBerry shops will be drawn to the 9800, but that will take time to start to move more units; RIM was targeting a higher rate of sales in the personal space area with the 9800 and it seems that that it isn’t happening currently. While 150,000 units sold is not awful, it was not the reception that RIM was hoping for, which suggests that they will have to return to the drawing board; but while they are working on a new model, additional sales will be lost to competitors.