RIM Sells Just 150,000 BlackBerry Torch Units On Launch

RIM Sells Just 150,000 BlackBerry Torch Units On Launch

With the release of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, RIM was hoping that it could tempt former iPhone and Android handset owners and move away from being the business smartphones of choice.

It appears that RIM hasn’t managed to shift that stigma just yet, after researchers at both RBC Captial Markets and Stifel Nicolaus put weekend launch sales of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 at only 150,000 units, a total paling in comparison to the 1.7 million worldwide sales of Apple’s iPhone 4 in just three days.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is currently only available in the US, like its competitor the Droid X, however the Motorola smartphone sold 300,000 units in its first weekend.

Whilst neither AT&T or RIM have confirmed the numbers, analysts have blamed the handsets muted response on the fact that consumers are shying away from AT&T, a carrier that has been blamed for poor customer service and patchy service, plus the fact business customers are less likely to upgrade their handsets as soon as a new BlackBerry is released.

Consumers have also complained that AT&T are stopping existing BlackBerry users from upgrading, charging them $199 for an upgrade when the device has just been slashed to $99 on Amazon.

Compared to high-powered smartphones from HTC, Motorola and Apple, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is considerably underpowered and somewhat unproven, especially as BlackBerry OS 6 launched alongside the handset.

We may find that sales of the device begin to pick up once other BlackBerry users start to install BlackBerry OS 6 on their Bold and Pearl 3G models and consumers get a chance to see the OS in action.

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