AT&T Says BlackBerry Torch Sales Are Slow, iPhone and Android Taking All the Glory

Speculation has been running rampant about the BlackBerry Torch 9800 for AT&T not doing very well in sales. Today, Fred Devereux, President of Wireless Operations in the US West for AT&T, gave the impression that the carrier was a little disappointed and somewhat surprised in BlackBerry Torch sales. Funny, I’m not all that surprised about the turn out.

During the Mobile Future Forward event in Seattle, Devereaux said he was “surprised there hasn’t been a faster adoption” of the smartphone.

With the wildly popular iPhone 4, and the ridiculously priced iPhone 3GS at $99, how can he or AT&T be surprised? Let’s not forget the Samsung Captivate, a Galaxy S Android device, which is also a very appealing smartphone. Is anyone genuinely surprised that the BlackBerry Torch’s flame quickly cooled after its initial launch?

AT&T can’t place all the blame on the iPhone or Android, however. The Torch just isn’t striking or revolutionary enough to make people want to switch carriers for it. Unless your business deployed the BlackBerry slider and you have no other choice, you’re probably not going to want to switch to a fickle network unless it’s for the brand-spankin’ new iPhone 4.

Even for die-hard BlackBerry fans, the Torch 9800 was a questionable upgrade. The screen resolution made it seem like an ancient device, its weak processor causes the new OS to lag and BlackBerry App World just hit 10,000 apps! The iPad, having just launched in April of this year, already has 25,000 dedicated applications!

Devereux also noted that he was amazed that people were spending upwards of $200 on smartphones and that hardly anyone is picking up basic feature phones anymore.

OK, this guy is both shocked at slow Torch sales and the shift in average consumer buying trends? Is AT&T sure it wants this guy to be leading wireless operations?

Of course, shortly after all this AT&T released a statement that said it was pleased with BlackBerry Torch 9800 sales, although it didn’t seem to want to go beyond vague statements and give us hard numbers.

[Via: Electronista]

  • Naz

    I bought Torch 9800 it is excellent device, please do not listen to so called experts try it yourself. you will love it


    • Alan

      I like too Naz, I think its a great device which does what it says on the box, well done RIM & AT&T.

    • lorenzo

      Torch is the single worst mobile device I have ever owned. RIM should have fixed the processor before releasing something this shameful to their market. If they had any marketing sense, they would stop complaining about slow sales and pull the phone from the market before it destroys the little that is left of their reputation! It’s slooooow, they haven’t ported most apps, and it freezes. This is the worst thing that they could have done. I am not even returning to my Bold and just flipping over to Android.

  • cellmate

    I appreacite Devereux being honest about sales on the Torch. There are so many choices out there someone is going to end up at the bottom of the pack, why side step it? ATT&T probably didn’t think the statment sat well and issued a revision. As far as cell phones vs smart phones I believe he’s pointing to what’s really happening in middle America. Truth be told my kid still has a cell phone and I’m going to keep it that way. dropping $200 a new phone is not in the picture at this point.

  • AJ Franklin

    I have to back up what Naz wrote–It’s a terrific phone and the complaints about the processor and screen are unfounded. It never lags for me and the screen is beautiful. More importantly it organizes my business and social life in one very neat package. No other phone can do what a BlackBerry can do as well. And an upgrade to the OS–not released by ATT yet, resolves the lag issues that some have reported.

  • Carlos

    I am a Blackberry Tour user and would love to have a Torch. I would never switch to iPhone, it’s messaging capabilities can’t compare with BB’s. Every time I read one of these articles I tell myself, these writers, they don’t get it. My girlfriend has an iPhone with 122 unread messages and she would have to open each one in order to clear the counter!

  • Mavericksmith

    Right on Naz, I have been a BB user for a few years now. I tried an android phone about 6 mo ago and it lasted a week. I just couldn’t take it anymore, it was fun but it just didn’t get the job done. The torch is a great phone that gives me my necessary tool, with the cool features for fun. Go RIM.

  • M

    A lot of non-BB users are not so fond of the Torch because their personal devices tend to be better for what they use them for daily (i.e. web, movies, photos); Whereas BB users believe it is a marked improvement for our particular purpose, e-mail, text, etc. However, i believe that Torch sales are doing poorly because RIM has teamed up with a carrier that has very few BB users in comparison and has alienated 93% of its primary users at other major companies.

    Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have far more BB users than AT & T, but yet ATT has exclusive rights. I guarentee if RIM provided this phone for other carriers the sales would go through the roof. That’s like selling exclusive Reeboks at an Air Jordan outlet; You’re not going to get too many new customers or upgrades!

    While I am a Sprint customer, i still like the torch from what I see and if and when it comes to Sprint, I will certainly be in line for upgrades!

  • Allistair

    I want to upgrade my wife and I to the Torch.We are not Blackberry users, so this will be a first for us.
    Need to use for normal calls, text, limited emails, apps etc.
    The camera is a bonus.
    I reckon we will not need more that 2GB.

    So to the experts, which way shoud I go.
    So to the experts out there, do we go Torch or I Phone4.

  • happyfun

    They have some major issues with this device and its not recommended at this time. The phone becomes unlocked in your pocket due to a poor button design, making it suitable for holster use rather than pocket/purse.

    It also freezes from time to time, usually after getting a message or trying to unlock it. No patches have fixed this yet, but its definitely a software problem that hopefully they can fix.

    Lastly, this phone is HEAVY, about 1.5 times as heavy as an iPhone and you can really tell when you pick it up. All things to consider.

    So unless you absolutely need a good web-browser on your blackberry, stick with the Bold 9780 or 9700.

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