updated 06:40 pm EDT, Thu September 16, 2010
RIM casts doubt on Torch rumors, iPhone adoption
RIM during the call discussing its latest results tried to downplay talk of threats to its business. It claimed that the launch of the BlackBerry Torch was the most successful launch of a GSM phone in RIM's history and created a "meaningful" increase in sales. Companies were speeding up their validation processes to get BlackBerry 6 devices like the Torch sooner, the company said.
The company also colored its expectations for the Torch through the fall; it now expects between 13.8 million and 14.4 million BlackBerries to ship, or a major increase over the summer's 12.1 million. It added that there should be 75 more carriers adopting the Torch by the fall to help boost momentum.
After setting expectations, however, RIM also wanted to cast doubt on an increasing number of companies allowing Android and iPhone use or, in some cases, switching altogether to a competing platform. It was important to "question and challenge" these pilot projects and whether they would have an effect, the smartphone maker said. Many have nonetheless been actively implementing tests or permanent programs to let workers use their own smartphones instead of company-mandated BlackBerry devices, in many cases leading to a significant number of owners using a rival phone instead.
The firm also tried to justify its decision to use two-year-old processors and displays in the Torch despite facing much higher performance and screen quality from rivals. It was dangerous to characterize the smartphone field as a "high-end arms race," and there were actually potential risks from going too high-end, RIM said. Apart from price, it was also possible that a phone could be too "consumptive" of data and wouldn't scale properly. RIM has considered data compression a key advantage as it avoids the congestion that has affected AT&T's 3G network post-iPhone.
"Our specialty has been in resolving a paradox" of balance, the Canadian phone giant said.
The firm finally teased that there would be some "very exciting news" at the upcoming BlackBerry DevCon regarding WebKit-based widgets.