The BlackBerry Torch has undoubtedly caused waves in the smartphone market. Finally bringing Research in Motion in line with the rapidly expanding market and putting it well and truly in touch with its fiercest rivals. Not only that, but the Torch has done so without compromising what has made BlackBerry devices unique — its superb email functionality and slide out QWERTY keyboard means that it has been able to hold on to its devoted fans while attracting new users with its new and brilliantly executed touch screen.
It is not just the hardware that has proved impressive. The revamped browser and high-power Android operating system have made the Torch one of the most accessible and desirable phones on the market. Furthermore, the new app market and ever-popular BB messenger have meant that RIM is making huge gains on Apple in terms of functionality.
And the figures back this up too.
Released in America in August and the UK in October, RIM have announced that the Torch has triggered third quarter profits of $1.64 billion, but the most intriguing thing about this is that analyst estimate that these numbers mean that RIM have sold as many Torches as Apple has iPhone 4s over the same time period.
This is key to the continued success of RIM. Having lost some ground in the corporate market in which they were previously ubiquitous, it was essential that the next BlackBerry handset was able to both reclaim some of that lost market share, but even more important than that was that the Torch was able to appeal to casual mobile users too, and the latest figures suggest that it has been able to do just that.
The real test is to come though, as some critics have supposed that the strong showing here has been down to RIM selling new phones to their existing user base, and the true test will come as RIM look for sustained support and a growing number of users.