RIM's Torch Sales—Not So Hot

Research in Motion'sBlackBerry Torch is getting a dim reception in the marketplace so far, a troubling sign for a company that needs a smartphone hit to stem market share losses.

Blackberry Torch 9800
Source: blackberry.com
Blackberry Torch 9800

RIM announced the new slider touch screen phone with AT&T earlier this month. It was supposed to be RIM's answer to Apple's iPhone 4 and Google's Android, but the Torch, and the new BlackBerry 6 OS inside, are slow out of the gate.

Analyst Sanjiv Wadhwani at Stifel Nicolas estimates RIM may have sold between 100,000 and 150,000 units over the first two days of its launch, which is just so-so by the standards of a big iPhone or Android debut. By comparison, including pre-orders, the iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units in the first three days. That's nearly 12 times as many as the Torch.

But more of a concern than the chilly Torch numbers is RIM's software strategy. RIM only released development tools for the new BlackBerry 6 OS a week ago, which hasn't given coders any time to work up jazzy apps that would entice consumers to buy new BlackBerrys.

There's a bit of a chicken-egg issue there, but right now when it comes to developers, RIM's got no chickens and no eggs, and that's no good.

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