BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is introducing a new touch-screen cell phone this week in a market increasingly dominated by the iPhone and Android handsets. The BlackBerry Torch 9800, available from AT&T for $199 with a two-year contract, sports top-shelf features — slide-out keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, WiFi capabilities — but still hasn't managed to generate much enthusiasm among tech commentators. Can the Torch reignite the BlackBerry brand? (See the Torch up close)
Not good enough: Sorry, but the Torch is "not going to stop RIM's decline," says Dan Frommer in Business Insider. The new BlackBerry 6 operating system feels "clunky and primitive" — not "nearly as modern and elegant as Android or Apple's iOS." Sure, customers who "buy on price alone" may go for the Torch. But anyone who wants "to use the web, apps, games" available for iPhone or Android platforms likely won't be swayed.
"Sorry, but the BlackBerry Torch won't save RIM"
Big business to the rescue: Actually, says Seth Weintraub in Fortune, I think the Torch will "sell pretty well to corporate customers." Because of RIM's excellent data security, "thousands" of companies are "BlackBerry exclusive." The Torch "is, hands down, the best BlackBerry device out there." So, for them, "this is a no-brainer upgrade."
"BlackBerry Torch: The Palm Pre-berry?"
Too little, too late: The Torch shows "that RIM has come a long way towards competing in a market that's increasingly touch- and consumer-focused," says John Timmer in Ars Technica. And after some hands-on time with the device, I found it "impressively responsive." Unfortunately, the phone will hit the market long after its competitors "have already solved some of the same problems," and are now simply "refining" their increasingly popular phones.
"Catching up: RIM launches BlackBerry Torch, touch-based OS 6"