Will the Blackberry Torch 9800 Brighten RIM’s Future?

by Matt Klassen on August 5, 2010

As noted by TheTelecomblog’s very own tech blogger Jordan Richardson in his coverage of the official unveiling of Research in Motion’s (RIM) newest Blackberry smartphone, the Torch 9800, yesterday, many in the mobile tech world are lauding the device as a possible iPhone killer, or at least a phone that will mount some respectable opposition against the mobile market leaders.

Although I did write a somewhat optimistic, albeit thoroughly tentative, preliminary review on the Blackberry 9800 late last week, since it’s release I’ve become a lot less confident about the Torch’s chances in the open waters of the cutthroat mobile market.

Despite the fact that the Torch boasts an impressive list of specs and sports features that many will find attractive, the question remains, however, will RIM’s new device be innovative and attractive enough to draw potential users away from the more popular devices? I thoroughly doubt it.

While I am honestly impressed by what RIM has managed to create with the Torch, a powerful touchscreen smartphone that boasts RIM’s unrivalled security features, an improved operating system (Blackberry OS 6), and the full QWERTY keyboard that has made Blackberry the popular choice among the more technologically inept the world over, it really does strike me as too little too late from the Canadian-based mobile manufacturer.

Sure it sports an iPhone-like interface that allows users to easily scroll through pages with the simple drag of a finger, but the problem with the Torch, simply put, is that it doesn’t do anything the iPhone doesn’t do. While I have no doubt that the Blackberry Torch will appeal to those diehard Blackberry users that have long been waiting for an RIM product that competes with the market leaders, what possible reason would a satisfied iPhone or Android user have for switching to the Torch?

Aside from the fact that RIM’s Blackberry devices boast a level of data security that is currently frustrating the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the one key selling point that the Torch may have had to lure dissatisfied iPhone customers was the choice of carriers.

Just imagine the draw for all those angry AT&T iPhone users when an equally powerful, more intuitive smartphone that includes a full QWERTY keyboard came on the market with another carrier…What!?!? RIM is releasing the Blackberry Torch exclusively on AT&T as well!? Oh well, there goes that idea.

I will admit, as much as I have tried I still can’t make any sense out of the decisions that RIM is making with the phone that the company dubs the “best Blackberry ever.” Sure they have given it features that make it comparable to the market leaders (aside from is disappointingly small screen), but that isn’t enough to draw users away from devices that are already known to be exceptionally use friendly. Coupled with that, the exclusivity agreement RIM has signed with AT&T means that iPhone users in particular have absolutely no reason to switch.

Just a word of advice to RIM, if you hope to draw anyone away from devices they have grown to love, you have to make your device that much more attractive. You have to chalk it full of features and hardware that outclass its competition, you have to provide potential customers with a user interface experience that exceeds what they are currently enjoying, and you have to release the mobile device at a time when people are actually looking to switch.

For me, it seems that RIM has failed on all three counts, which is why; unfortunately, the Torch will fail in its mission to compete with the iPhone. Good luck next time Blackberry!

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

duncan jonathan September 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Blackberry Torch 9800 Smartphone Unlocked $300USD

The BlackBerry Torch features a QWERTY keyboard and optical trackpad in a slider style phone body. The Torch has a 3.2-inch (480×360) touchscreen, 5MP camera, and has over 1GB of combined RAM/ROM storage, 4GB memory, and sports 4GB microSD card. As for connectivity the Torch supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity.

HVGA display
512 MB of RAM,
4 GB of on-board storage
Wi-Fi 802.11n
BlackBerry (NSDQ: RIMM) OS 6.0

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Qwerty Keyboard
Touch Screen
Candy Bar Form

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Standard battery
AC Travel charger
Sync software
User manual

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