Blog Post

Reviews Are In For BlackBerry Torch: RIM Is Hardly Dead Or Dying

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

The critics are quick to call the death of the BlackBerry, but many reviewers are saying that the BlackBerry Torch — running the latest software — was a safe next step for the platform. It’s nothing revolutionary, but customers will be satisfied with the upgrade. “I view it as a big improvement over earlier, stodgy BlackBerry models….RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) is hardly dead or dying. In fact, the new phone and software are just the start of its plan to revitalize the BlackBerry franchise,” writes the WSJ’s Walt Mossberg. lists what’s new and the old about the Torch:

New: “It’s the first and only slider BlackBerry. It’s the first BlackBerry to feature a ‘proper’ touchscreen (no SurePress clicking on the screen required). It’s the first BlackBerry to get the bump up to a 5 megapixel camera. It’s also the first BlackBerry device model to have BlackBerry 6, which ushers in a bunch of new features, including the new WebKit rendering engine.”

Old: “The chipset is the same as the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, the display is the same as the one found on the Storms, and the overall design is clearly in line with the rest of the BlackBerry lineup.”

Gizmodo calls the new BlackBerry 6 software “schizotastic:”

Examples: “Like Android, BlackBerry OS 6 will ostensibly support phones with and without touchscreens, which means that unlike iOS, Windows Phone 7 or webOS, it’s doomed from the outset to a lack of clarity…Dive into an options menu and it’s like being hurled back into Palm (NSDQ: PALM) OS circa 2005. It’s highly incongruous.”

PCMag says the Torch still does messaging best:

In a nutshell: “Messaging is still clearly at this phone’s core, though, unlike on flashier all-touch phones like the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iPhone 4. That leaves the Torch a strong bet for those who type and chat all day, and still behind the leaders for those who prefer to game, surf the Web, or watch videos.”

CNET says BlackBerry enthusiasts will be happy:

The bottomline: Though performance could be better and it could stand for some hardware upgrades, the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry OS 6 offer much-needed improvements to stay in step with the competition, and keep BlackBerry enthusiasts happy.

8 Responses to “Reviews Are In For BlackBerry Torch: RIM Is Hardly Dead Or Dying”

  1. WPB Atlanta

    Just an FYI for the apple fanboys… I have an iPod touch and upgraded to iOS4 (which I’m told has no downgrade path back to the previous version of the OS) and it is now officially an iTurd. The multitasking is a joke. EVERYTHING runs MUCH slower. It now has a nasty habit of missing or ignoring touch request (I guess it’s busy doing something in the background and ignoring it’s primary task… the user). It also has a nasty habit of, for some unknown reason, exiting safari and returning to the home screen all on it’s own. This is the SECOND upgrade I’ve now done to iOS4. It also has frequently just “locked up”, requiring a full reset to get things running again.

    My wife just purchased an iPhone 4, and the phone functionality is frequently horrid. On most calls there is a serious issue with drop-outs… the result being me having to ask her to repeat herself. And yes there are often dropped calls… she just disappears into the ether.

    This is her SECOND phone. She returned her first one due to the yellow tint on the screen which never went away. This second one has the same issue with the “jaundice” screen. I suppose she is going to just live with it.

    Now you fanboys can badmouth RIM all you want, but mine NEVER drops a call or has any drop-outs during a call. And yes, the messaging is top notch. I use mine for business because I need a solid PHONE with MESSAGING… And solid security.

    With regard to “apps”… Apple has tons… many seem somewhat childish and not very useful (unless you gotta have that “Superbad” sound board… or the toilet paper app). RIM may have fewer apps, but most are actually useful.

    Granted, RIM needs to get off their butts and write a decent development platform for us software developers. It pisses me off that their offering in this area is so lame.

    Positions: AAPL, RIMM, GOOG
    Positions: AAPL, RIMM, GOOG

  2. I think Terry Hughes stated it pretty well when he compared the Torch to previous RIM products… it’s better than that. The problem is price point and features though… against an iPhone or an Android device… trouble for the BB…

  3. I have used the 9800 for a few weeks and I LOVE it! As a BlackBerry user for 3 years, the new phone is a dramatic improvement and I am quite addicted to it. Instead of me comparing it to Apple and Android, I decided to simply evaluate whether the phone does what I need, and whether it’s satisfying to use. And for me, as a prosumer, it does everything I need and more. I can type all day long, I can interface with apps via the screen and notably the trackpad too (a lovely combination of navigating around), and in the evening I can watch videos and listen to music. Also it’s a really top-notch phone for voice calls (yes, some of us still use our phones for real stuff like talking! and RIM always excels at voice quality and voice features)

    No, there aren’t 200,000 apps for the new phone, but as a prosumer the last thing I want to do is browse through 200,000 apps! I want to be able to quickly find a bunch of quality apps that enhance the phone, and I can do that on the new 9800.

    In summary … no it’s not an iPhone, but thank goodness for that, the media should remember that not everybody in the world wants an iPhone, and for those of us that aren’t jumping onto the Apple bandwagon, and for those of us that want to stay with BlackBerry, the new BlackBerry came at just the right time.

    (We are a BlackBerry partner and developer but other than that I have no vested interest or bias towards RIM).

  4. John Peters

    All my negative comments about RIMM are because I am shorting RIMM stock and I want it to go down. Oh, shoot, gotta go, my iPhone just dropped another call.

  5. Jamesapple

    Rim Bold 9800 is prelude to all future Blackberrys, typically old, dull, outdated, boring, and if like previous Blackberrys, full of bugs and hidden defects.

    The Rim OS 6 and Bold 9800 are at least 2 to 3 generations behind Apple. Android, and Palm Pre.

    Rim is obviously 1) unable to compete; 2) avoiding confrontation; 3) shameless; 4) hopeless.

    If you own Rimm shares, sell them now, before they drop much lower.