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Goldman Claims BlackBerry Torch 9800 Sales Are “Underwhelming”

leaking-house Goldman definitely is not sending a vote of confidence for the BlackBerry Torch 9800. Goldman Sachs went out on record that the BlackBerry Torch launch on August 12th was “underwhelming.”

According to StreetInsider:

The firm (Goldman) noted that nearly all of the stores they called did not sell out of the device. Also the checks showed that the vast majority of Torch sales were driven by upgrades from existing BlackBerry subscribers.

That makes a some sense but I can see a couple of possible faulty assumptions on Goldman’s claim. First of all they have no idea how many device RIM supplied AT&T with so it could be they have a load of devices stockpiled at each store. Secondly there are no parts on the 9800 that would cause an artificial shortage of the device like other devices using AMOLED screens and such. On top of that there are 50 million BlackBerry users out there dominating the smartphone market so even if the vast majority upgrade the the Torch then RIM accomplished its main goal of halting their loss of market share.

Hopefully either AT&T or RIM respond to the claim. I have reached out to both and will hopefully hear back…

35 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This, folks, is why people purposely understock a lot of the time…

    Because others make stupid assumptions that not selling out = bad sales…

  2. Since anything Goldman says is the opposite of reality I’d say that the Torch is just fine!!

    • Yeah right. That’s why Goldman makes billions every year. You can hate Goldman all you want but it doesn’t change the facts.

      • Same Goldman Sachs that tried to push AIG into bankruptcy? …and agreed a whopping $550M payout? Never… 😀

        • Um exactly what are you replying to in my comment? Did I defend Goldman’s business tactics? All I said was that they make billions every year. Is that not true? If you watched the Goldman Sachs senate hearings, they were a joke. They were simply political grandstanding by our senators to make it look like they’re doing something against the big banks and Goldman Sachs simply agreed to pay the fine to get the government off it’s back. Goldman Sachs is a “market maker”. Go look up what that means and then maybe you’ll understand that it’s their job to be bring buyers and sellers together. I also suggest you go read “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis so you understand what caused AIG to lose billions. It certainly wasn’t Goldman Sachs all by themselves.

          My apologies to everyone for my off topic comments.

  3. I agree that the device is not using bleeding edge parts so there should be no shortage on parts or delays in providing hardware. The device is just well put together.

    Hey, BlackBerry users know why they love their devices! I can lock down each app to a tight corner only allowing them to do what I want them to do: no USB, no Bluetooth, no access to my contacts or messaging, etc., etc. This alone makes BlackBerrys less susceptible to malware. For me, security is #1.

  4. This news doesn’t surprise me. When an existing AT&T customer or potential customer is looking to get their first smartphone, the specs of the Torch just don’t measure up to the iPhone 4 or some of the Android devices out there.

    I hope AT&T doesn’t have a long exclusivity agreement for the Torch. If it’s longer than 3-4 months then RIM will lose out on potential sales with other carriers around the Christmas shopping season.

    • Most consumers don’t buy phones based on specs…

      • I’ll admit the features of the OS also influence why people buy phones but the specs also matter to consumers. Why do you think Steve Jobs goes on stage every year to announce the new features of the new iPhones? Why do you think tons of people upgrade to latest iPhone every year when all iPhones run the same OS? If specs have nothing to do with people’s buying decisions then why are they upgrading?

        Specs are certainly the reason why Sprint is selling tons of HTC Evos and Verizon is selling tons of tons of HTC Droid Incredibles and Motorola Droid Xs. Verizon didn’t sell many Motorola Devour handsets that also run Android. Do you think the specs have something to do with it?

        • I think the point was people don’t buy “specs”, they buy “features”. There IS a difference. What Jobs goes on stage every year and promotes are the new “features”, Apple rarely gives out meaningful “specs”.

          • I get the point except you need better specs to support the new features. You can’t record HD video without having a high resolution camera. You can’t do video calling without a 2nd front facing camera. Having a better processor will help with multitasking. You can also make better specs sound like new features by using marketing terminology like “retina display”.

            And I think people missed my point. When people compare the Torch to other phones on the market that cost $200 with a contract, it doesn’t meaure up. The processor is much slower, the screen is relatively small, the screen resolution is low and the camera doesn’t record HD video. Why would someone spend $200 on a Torch when you can get a 16gb iPhone 4 or a number of Android phones with better specs/features? RIM made a mistake by using the same 624 MHz processor as the Bold 9000/Bold 9700/etc and the same screen resolution as the Storm/Storm2.

            I still believe that specs have something to do with what phones people choose to buy just like they do when people buy a laptop or desktop computer. That’s why people some people choose one Android phone over another. When people buy a computer or laptop they look at screen size, amount of RAM, processor type and speed, etc. Those are all specs not features. I’m NOT saying specs are the only reason people choose one phone over another but it definitely is a factor.

        • Right, but mom and pop that RIM needs to get interested in their phones don’t read specs. They ask the sales guy if they can do the things they seem in the commercials on TV, they could really care less if the CPU is 624MHz or 1GHz, or if base memory is 256MB or 512MB, or whatever. I’m not arguing that the Torch’s specs don’t measure up, I agree completely. How RIM could have looked around 2 years ago when they started this thing and think that their already old base platform would still be good enough in 2010 seems short sighted to me. But hey, now that Amazon and Walmart are selling it for under $100, sales numbers should climb. As the price falls, the hardcore specs matter less and less to the general public. It’s only us Blackberry enthusiats (i.e. nerds) that really give a damn about the nitty gritty details, your average Joe consumer doesn’t.

          • I agree that the average consumer will ask about features before specs. I also agree that the average consumer doesn’t care about technical specs like processor speed and memory but if they try out several phones in the store they will notice things like the speed of the phone, the screen size, how clear the screen looks and the number of megapixels supported by the camera. That’s really what I meant when I said the specs of the Torch don’t measure up to the iPhone 4 and some of the Android devices.

  5. The Torch is available from AT&T for $99! Someone will soon unlock it and it will be available for all at a very decent price.

    • But if you want 3G capability with T-Mobile USA then the unlocked AT&T version won’t work for you. You would need a specific T-Mobile version of the Torch just like the Bold 9700. And of course there are also the CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint who will need a CDMA version.

  6. lol i believe its not selling all that well because after seeing what android and apple are doing with their devices why would u want some crappy OS 6.0 please thats nothing new being brought. rim sucks more with every passing day. cant belive i stuck in with them for 3years. Android all the way now for me

  7. Hope RIM listens to this wake up. Phone has been ringing for quite a while now.

  8. I think RIM screwed up by giving AT&T exclusive on this one, every time you walk into an AT&T store they try to shove the Iphone down your throat. The last 3 times I been there first thing they ask is ” are you here for the iphone 4″

  9. Yea, I’m going to listen to what those thieving b*stards have to say.

  10. It doesn’t surprise me. I have no interest in the torch. I have supported RIM far too long. So a few days ago I purchase htc desire and love it.

  11. It seems a bit early to determine how sales will trend. If you’re not on AT&T, you can’t even buy it yet. Once its internationally available on multiple carriers, you’ll start getting some decent sales data.

    That said, I’m due for an upgrade to my 9000 and I’ve seriously torn between this and an android phone. Unfortunately, Rogers in canada doesn’t have the new android uber-phones either. Not sure what i should get. I’m also frustrated since Rogers won’t say when they’ll start selling this. Its “weeks” away. That could mean November.

    • According to anyone on teh internetz (and apparently large investment firms), anything that doesn’t sell out at stores = fail…

      Clearly that is the only possible scenario…

  12. Or it could be that it’s summer, people are traveling or waiting for those “Back to School” specials to hit before buying anything.

    Nah it’s gotta be all the folks not using AT&T as their carrier, not even thinking to move from their current carrier, just to have the 9800. That’s gotta be it.

  13. Look at the survey that came out late last week that something like 1/3 or more would drop ATT to get their iPhone from Verizon if they had it. And that isn’t new news. That RIM gave ATT an exclusive on this device is just plain bad business.

  14. Look let’s all be honest here. We are all bb fans, myself included, but let’s be real. The torch is not the blockbuster phone we all wished for from RIM. If it were it would be sold out on day one, and believe it or not, people would jump to ATT in a heartbeat to get it. If a phone is thayt good people would dump their carrier for another. Its happen many times before for ex the Iphone (it kills me to say it seeing how much I loathe Apple)and the EV. Both of these phones did not need more than their one exclusive carrier to rake in record sales. If the Torch was that hot (technologically speaking) many in here would dump carriers for ATT just to have it and sales would be high end of story. But unfortunately it’s not the HR RIM, and us BB fanatics, were looking for and thus the dismal outlook.

  15. Sorry for the typo’s in my previous post. :)

  16. I have to correct my earlier post about Rogers and lack of Android alternatives. They’re about to release the Samsung Galaxy and man does that look sweet. Rumor is that it may be out as soon as this friday. If so, I’m not seeing a 9800 winning the day for a lot of canadians looking to update their phones… Especially if Torch comes out later.

  17. I still have my Bold 9000, RIM have not given me a good reason to give it up.

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