updated 11:20 pm EDT, Tue July 14, 2009
Verizon sells 400k Tours
Analysts estimate that Verizon may have sold between 275,000 and 300,000 BlackBerry Tour handsets within the first 24 hours of availability, according to TheStreet.com. Although Apple's recent 3GS launch netted over one million subscribers in the first weekend, the Tour introduction compares to the first-generation iPhone release in 2007.
Sprint also debuted the Tour on the same day as Verizon, although the sales numbers for the former carrier remain unknown. Reports suggest the device could be on its way to Alltel in the near future. Both carriers offer the smartphone for $200 with a two-year agreement.
The Tour now represents the flagship device amongst RIM's smartphones with physical keypads. The impressive sales numbers could be partially driven by BlackBerry purists, including business users unlikely to depart for another platform. The Tour brings several modernizations, including a 3.2-megapixel camera, while taking the 480x360 display of the Curve and the keyboard from the Bold.
Verizon has maintained a large subscriber base, but has recently lacked a blockbuster smartphone to contend with the Palm Pre and iPhone 3GS. Piper Jaffray analyst T. Michael Walkley claims both the iPhone 3G, now sold for $99, and the new 3GS have put a dent in BlackBerry sales. RIM has remained optimistic, with summer sales expected to surpass 8 million units.