BlackBerry Torch sells 150,000 units at launch; still deemed a failure

News Zach Epstein 08:28, Aug 17 2010

RIM sold an estimated 150,000 BlackBerry Torch smartphones during its first weekend of availability, but many still view it as a failure

RIM just can't catch a break.

As the company's stock continues to slide following the announcement and subsequent release of the BlackBerry Torch smartphone, analysts are now coming forward with their assessments.

Yesterday, Goldmann Sachs called the Torch launch "underwhelming" because the phone didn't sell out over the weekend at AT&T store locations.

Now, analysts at both RBC Capital Markets and Stifel Nicolaus have issued sales estimates for the Torch's opening weekend, which is comprised of the four-day period beginning August 12.

Both firms estimate that sales over the first four days came in around 150,000 units, The Wall Street Journal reports.

150,000 units sold during a phone's first weekend of availability is nothing to scoff at.

The monstrous figures achieved by Apple's iPhone line have skewed our perception of reality. Its most recent smartphone, the iPhone 4, sold 1.7 million units during its launch weekend. Apple likely would have sold even more iPhones if inventory had been available.

A smartphone doesn't have to sell millions of units in a matter of days to be a success, however. 150,000 units is well above average and will lead to tens of millions of dollars in hardware and service revenue for RIM and AT&T.

How is that not a success?

The BlackBerry Torch is RIM's first phone phone to ship with the new BlackBerry 6 operating system. It is also the Canadian manufacturer's first handset to feature both a touchscreen display and a QWERTY keypad.

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