Blackberry Torch-A Failure Against iPhone and Android

Posted on 20 September 2010

The Blackberry Torch 9800 Smartphone was introduced by Research in Motion (RIMM) to return to the cutting edges of smart phones. After every few months Google or Apple makes some improvements in their existing Smartphone which is impossible to keep up with them.

For years research in motion was strongest brand in Smartphone because of Blackberry. The early Blackberry phones were so common they were everywhere, there owners used to check their emails on the go. People were excited about having a Blackberry phone.

Then iPhone and Android were introduced and they had a variety of applications and touch screen which attracted people. You could edit movies, play piano and do other things on these phones. But Blackberry had its own advantages. Its signature keypad was easier to type as compared to touch screen keypad. Verizon offered two-for-the-price of one to attract customers.

Plummeting Market Share

But even after RIM’s share of U.S. Smartphone market fell from 28%.  Verizon also sells Android phones, and Android’s share of the Smartphone market increased to 33%. Blackberry was then displaced as the best selling Smartphone and half of the owners of Blackberry wanted to switch to iphone or android. The other half people were either brand loyal to Blackberry or the business people preferred blackberry for email.

Then iPhone and android made improvements and were then being adopted as ideal business phones. After that RIM began to introduce touch screen phones but then people wanted touch screen as well as keyboard. So RIM introduced torch which had both touch screen as well as keyboard. It was designed to satisfy demands of both types of customers those who want touch screen and those who wanted keyboard.

But torch didn’t change the scene. It could not attract many people its sales could not exceed the sales of iPhone. iPhone 4s made a sale of 1.7 million within its three days on the market. But Blackberry Torch made a sale of 150,000 in the first week of launch.

Lukewarm Receptions From Viewers

The lukewarm reception gave a review that “It’s tough to feel really excited about the BlackBerry Torch and OS 6 after heavy testing,” wrote Engadget. Gizmodo, an equally influential blog, was colder: “If you don’t already own a BlackBerry, you will not want this phone. And if you do, you still might not want it.”

The general review was that torch has touch screen features like pinch to zoom and other features but the software is slower and the 3.2 inch display is smaller than apple or android. It might be the best blackberry phone but it isn’t better than blackberry or android.

Wall Street’s reaction to the sales was a stronger tone of disappointment. Many stores called it underwhelming.
Bernstein’s Pierre Ferragu focused on the speed at which the IT departments are abandoning the blackberry phones. RIM is damaging its business by designing blackberry as a business phone because people prefer smart phones that are designed for consumers. The torch is a good phone for consumers but in the Smartphone market it is not good enough.

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