updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue August 31, 2010
BBerry Torch only cannibalizing current ATT sales
Sales of the BlackBerry Torch are having no meaningful impact on RIM's sales at AT&T, Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette claimed in a research note today. After investigating, Faucette understood that the touchscreen slider was mostly cannibalizing Bold 9700 sales rather than adding to the ranks. In many cases, Bold owners are only buying because they're consciously avoiding the BlackBerry 6 platform, Barron's read in the note.
The Torch has quickly settled down after launch and is now in a "stable" rate but isn't seen doing anything to improve RIM's revenue, even with the price going back up to $200.
Supporting the claim, Pierre Ferragu of Bernstein Research added that there was a "sizeable threat" to the BlackBerry in its once-safe corporate environment. The analyst said that 74 percent of those with work e-mail had policies that allowed Android, iPhone and other platforms. Half of those companies added the policy just in the past year, Ferragu said. The option didn't directly translate to share but meant some users would veer away from BlackBerry.
The momentum was also poised to work against RIM. Although security is still a concern for some, some companies are willingly dropping BlackBerry requirements as it lets them save money by putting the phone cost on the worker, not the company. Many employees have called for the option as they want to use an iPhone or another device they already have.
RIM is now the fourth largest phone manufacturer of any kind in the world, but it has been losing smartphone market share this year after initially appearing secure. Its aging mobile OS, mostly unused app store and insistence on clinging to non-touch phones until now has left some customers turning either to Apple- or Google-based phones that often have more modern interfaces, more apps and newer hardware.