Can BlackBerry Torch, “The Best BlackBerry Ever”, Save RIM?
(Originally posted at the Mobile Spoon)
What do you do when sales are going down, competition goes up, and customers are mostly unhappy with your product?
You make a change.
This is what RIM tried to do with the release of the BlackBerry Torch, and BlackBerry OS 6.0.
RIM knew that building on business/enterprise users may take the BlackBerry product to the same path of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and we all know how did that end, so they made a change, involving the hardware and the software, trying to reach out to younger consumers, also known as the iPhone/Android kind of users.
An interesting survey recently conducted in the US showed that youngsters prefer phones with a slider form factor. RIM got the message and the BlackBerry Torch is the first BlackBerry handset with this form factor.
The phone gives a “touch” experience which is a must in today’s world, but keeps the BlackBerry famous keyboard which is still, by far, the best one in the market.
The overall design is considered to be good, although I must say I was never a big fan of that form factor.
(maybe because I’m old… and geek)
Another disappointment is the low screen resolution which according to Gizmodo is simply a deal breaker.
RIM is hoping BB OS 6.0 will, which is the company’s 3rd attempt to do touch interface right will finally succeed. From what I’ve seen so far – it’s still early to tell, but early reviews did indicate a big improvement over the disappointing BlackBerry Storm. On the other hand, videos still show some clunky UI performance here and there.
Remember that creating an OS which should support both touch and none-touch devices is a challenge that has its’ price: things are not always consistent. We saw it happening to Windows Mobile few years ago.
For few years I’ve been using a BlackBerry device, knowing that it’s the best alternative for my business use. Today I no longer use it because of 2 reasons:
- The business advantage is not that big anymore
- The incredibly bad web browser
With OS 6.0, RIM has finally released a WebKit based web browser that can compete with the iPhone/Android WebKit based browsers. That is a step RIM should have done two years ago I think.
Will it do the work?
Well, I think most people believe the Torch will not be able to give a decent fight to latest Android/iPhone releases. Here’s a quote from MacWorld:
“RIM’s next-generation smartphone is better suited to compete against the first-generation iPhone, though, than current smartphones like the iPhone 4 and Droid X. The processor, display, memory, and app market for the BlackBerry Torch are all abysmally inferior to what Apple and Google have to offer.
Based on the initial reaction and early reviews for the BlackBerry Torch, it seems like the device offers little real competition for the current generation of smartphones. However, the BlackBerry Torch could still be a success by some measures because the captive audience of business professionals locked into the BlackBerry culture will embrace the inferior device because it is still better than the other devices RIM has to offer.”
Fascinating developments, as we are already used to seeing in mobility. Will BlackBerry 6.0 and Torch save RIM from going down?
Check out detailed reviews of the BlackBerry Torch:
- BlackBerry Torch 9800: ‘Best BlackBerry ever’ fails to create buzz
- BlackBerry Torch: The Initial Verdicts (pcworld.com)
- Video: The BlackBerry Torch at the NYC Launch Event (pocketnow.com)
- RIM Launches the BlackBerry Torch (shoppingblog.com)
- Here’s What The BlackBerry Torch Looks Like (RIMM, T) (businessinsider.com)
- Opinion: RIM following in Palm’s footsteps (macworld.com)
- Sorry, But The BlackBerry Torch Won’t Save RIM (RIMM, AAPL, GOOG, MSFT)(businessinsider.com)
- BlackBerry Torch 9800 Unveiled by AT&T (phonereport.info)
- RIM Reveals The BlackBerry Torch 9800 For AT&T, OS 6 Included (pocketnow.com)