BlackBerry Torch comes to Canada September 24th, er, make that the 30th.


The BlackBerry Torch 9800 Slider Touch-Screen smartphone

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 Slider Touch-Screen smartphone

We don’t have all the details yet regarding full carrier availability, but for those who are anxious to get their hands on RIM’s latest toy, here’s what we do know:

TELUS, Rogers and Bell Mobility are planning to launch the device on September 24th.(see update below) TELUS isn’t offering any rate plan info yet, but Bell and Rogers have said that it will be available for as low at $199 on a 3-year contract. It’s likely that TELUS will offer something similar.

No word yet on which of the other carriers (Virgin, Fido etc.)

The $199  (see update below) price point is a bit of a surprise given that the iPhone 4 is available for $159 on a similar three-year term and actually comes with more memory out of the box (16GB) than the Torch (combined 8GB).  However there is a massive untapped group of users out there who refuse to give up their BlackBerrys – especially the physical keyboard – and are desperate for a modern mobile browser which the Torch certainly delivers.

Marc was impressed but not blown away by the Torch’s specs, and suspects that it’s a case of too little too late. Now that I see the pricing, I’m wondering if it’s going to be a case of too little, too late and too pricey. But that, as they say, remains to be seen since very few people have actually had a chance to try out RIM’s first slider-touchscreen phone.

Update, September 24th: Okay, well here we are on the day that the Torch was supposed to launch here in Canada, but clearly that hasn’t happened. The good news is that all of the carriers have now gotten official with a new date (September 30th) but more importantly, a new price: $179 on a 3-year contract. Now that’s still a premium on the price of a base-model iPhone 4, but only by $20. I’ve had the Torch for just under a week now, and while my initial impressions are good, I think it’s going to be a hard sell if RIM is looking to convert any iPhone users to their platform. Stay tuned, we’ll publish our full impressions soon!

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15 comments

  1. Harold

    My family and I are Blackberry diehards. We are eligible for 3 upgrades now and we will just have to swallow the price.

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  2. Barry

    We’ll take a pass on this one. I have been a big supporter of RIM in the past, but I am disappointed by the Torch. 8GB of memory when state of the art is 16GB. 480 x 460 screen when 480 x 800 is state of the art. 624Mhz processor when 1.3 Ghz is state of the art. Too little, too small, too slow! We’ll stay with our Bolds for now. In this fast moving market, RIM might get one more chance to announce a competitive product. Miss again, and they will become another Palm.

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    • Ronny

      I respectfully disagree with you. Corporations/businesses rely on this secure product. It will never be like Palm just because of it’s security. It’s so secure that Governments can’t even monitor the communication.

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  3. Mike

    I hope Blackberry doesn’t become the next Palm. Personally, as every BB owner will tell you, BBMessenger is their BEST feature. That’s what they needed to focus more on and try to run an OS that would allow them to sync BBM with facebook and twitter. I hope that BB can try to make some kind of breakthrough. Let’s keep our fingers crossed

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  4. Steve

    I was looking forward to this but it has the same specs as my POS Storm from 2 years ago. Poor processor and low res screen is disappointing. Don’t pay the ridiculous $199 as it will be $99 before Christmas.

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  5. Phil

    As a Storm user I am particularly jaded by RIM, there is tons of memory but the application memory handling is beyond retarded in the literal sense of the word.

    As a member of a RIM focus group, they did not listen to our complaints or solutions. BBM, secure e-mail, PIN to PIN is fantastic and a few other features are nice but not nice enough to switch my company out of RIM. Having to pull my battery to gain back memory that should have been handled internally is maddening especially when needing to look up something on-line. that is among other times when the ticking clock shows up to annoy and afflict. Like I have said before I am looking forward to a divorce if RIM does not do something radically better in the next two years. In the meantime, if my staff and I are fed up enough then at whatever cost and their input I will replace all units with better technology, happy staff, and happier boss.

    Personally, I think the “Torch is Toast” before it ever gets out of the factory. The US sales are not impressive. Whoever thought that a portrait slider was a good idea should be keelhauled.

    As a Canadian company, I really want RIM to rip the doors off the competition and show the world that we have the right stuff. I will not however placate myself in anyway to an inferior product when the Pros are sinking well below the Cons of the overall market. RIM’s Waterloo best and brightest are deep into oxygen deprivation and resuscitation is that much harder.

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  6. a bit in your face

    I just bought a blackberry for my father in law and unlocked it. Man that thing is amazing. Its not the bold, but the curve 9300. I have an android phone, but I might make the blackberry my future phone. I can’t put the thing down. Darn it.

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  7. Greg

    It’s too bad that the Canadian company couldn’t even release it in Canada first or at the same time as the US. Been a blackberry user for many years. As much as I have looked forward to the arrival of the product, I am not sure now with expected pricing and the lacklustre performance specs as well as the uncalled for wait with the product being available in the US if my loyalty remains with blackberry.

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  8. Tom Ronaldo

    Personally, I am unsure about the Torch. ESPECIALLY at this price. I am looking forward to the BlackPad. I read a great article about it on http://www.blackpadinfo.com

    I think that there are a lot of people who are interested in touch devices that will not jump at the torch because they are waiting for the blackpad.

    Just my $0.02…

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  9. Shane

    I have two Blackberry phones, an 8220 and an older 8310. Neither is particularly impressive, especially against what is out there now and I don’t mean other comparitively lackluster Blackberrys.

    Also, I find it ridiculous that I live less than 10 km (6 mi) from RIM and had to wait for the US to get their phones first. It’s time I start using the same parameters thtat RIM uses – what is good for me.

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  10. Mary

    Im was so excited that the new Torch is going to be available, but somewhat disappointed about the pricing, and memory capacity. I am an avid BB user and I was not going to upgrade to an Iphone, but if they don’t lower the price I’m not paying an extra $50 when I can have a ton of more features on an Iphone, like live video conferencing. Like someone else suggested above, Im going to wait till Christmas and see what the pricing is going to be like then.

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  11. Kat

    So I noticed that today Sept. 24th in the Future Shop flyer that they are selling the Torch for 199.99 on a 3 year plan with Telus, Bell Rogers and Virgin. I will be at Future shop tomorrow morning checking that out. Don’t know if I will buy or not but I would like to check it out to see if I want it for Xmas. I mean I waited this long what is couple of more months, hopefully by then they will iron out any bugs that come with anything new.

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