Telecommunications Industry News
Sluggish BlackBerry Torch Sales Raise Doubts About RIM’s Future12:32 pm on August 17, 2010 | Category: Business, Cell Phones, Mobile Devices, PDAs
Research In Motion’s much-hyped touchscreen smartphone, the BlackBerry Torch, sold sluggishly during its first weekend of availability, causing analysts to raise questions about the Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s long-term future.
Since AT&T launched the Torch throughout the U.S. last Thursday, it has sold just 150,000 units, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst, Stifel Nicolaus. That compares to 1.7 million units sold during the Apple iPhone 4′s first weekend of availability.
“The device will ultimately have to sell in the marketplace side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone,” Stifel wrote in a note to clients. “To sustain U.S. sell-through momentum into the November quarter, we believe the price of $199 on contract will have to fall.”
Already, Amazon.com has slashed the Torch’s price tag to $99.99, putting pressure on AT&T to do the same thing in the very near future.
PC World columnist, Tony Bradley, compared Research In Motion’s current predicament to that of PDA pioneer, Palm, a few years ago.
“If the scenario feels dÃ©jÃ vu, perhaps it’s because Palm followed a similar path before ending up on the auction block and ultimately getting acquired by HP,” Bradley wrote. “Palm’s WebOS and the Palm Pre smartphone were supposed to go head to head against the Apple iPhone and restore esteem for the once dominant purveyor of PDAs … We know how that worked out. Like the Betamax video tape format, IBM OS/2 operating system, or the Commodore Amiga, WebOS lost the battle against iOS and other smartphone platforms despite being considered technically superior by many.”
At this point, whether Research In Motion will convert its top-of-the-line technology and iconic brand into another era of success, or follow Palm into virtual obscurity, seems to be anybody’s guess.
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Published by TeleClick Enterprises
Edited by Jeremy Maddock