Blackberry Torch-iPhone “killer”, or just another Blackberry?

Last week, Research in Motion released the latest Blackberry model, the Torch, exclusively on the AT&T network. The Torch has a lot of pressure on it – it’s no secret that RIM wants this device to be it’s “iPhone Killer”, and bring consumers back to the Blackberry platform. But will the Torch succeed? What has been lacking in Blackberry devices for all of these years? We’ll visit a few of Blackberry’s shortcomings and see if the Torch really fixes them.


This isn’t the first touchscreen Blackberry. There have been 2 previous versions of the “Storm”. Unfortunately, it never went over well. Not much has changed with the new screen, and it’s resolution still lags behind it’s main competitors, leaving text looking somewhat blocky and images a little unclear. They’ve also removed the SurePress technology from the Storm series that made the entire screen “clickable”.

Blackberry OS6 and Web Browsing

The Torch is the first Blackberry device to use version 6 of the BlackberryOS. Included with the re-vamped OS, is a brand new, webkit-compatible web browser. Finally — Blackberry’s awful web browser has been replaced with one that actually WORKS. For me, this is the most notable change. The new browser is modern, renders web pages correctly (though not as fast as the iPhone), and has support for pinch-to-zoom and tabbed browsing. One thing it does (unfortunately) have in common with the iPhone is the lack of Flash support.


The new Torch supports not only an on-screen touch-sensitive virtual keyboard, but also a more traditional standard Blackberry keyboard that slides out from under the phone. It’s a little bit more compact than the keyboard on other Blackberry’s, but for those that don’t like touch keyboards, this is a handy feature.

Social Feeds

One of the most interesting new features is the Social Feeds app that comes built into the OS. It combines all of your social networking feeds from Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and RSS feeds into one, attractive, easy-t0-use interface. The problem is — it’s only for viewing. If you want to reply to a Facebook post, you have to do it in the dedicated Facebook app (also pre-installed). But now you are using 2 separate apps — one for reading and another for posting. Not very handy.

A few other miscellaneous upgrades have been put into this new device, including more user-friendly handling of media, WiFi syncing of the phone to your computer, and a very handy feature called Universal Search, which finds anything, anywhere on your Blackberry. And I mean ANYTHING.

Based upon this latest showing, it doesn’t look like the Torch is going to be “killing” anything in the smartphone market. Don’t get me wrong — Blackberry fans will LOVE all of the improvements. But the Torch still doesn’t stand up to it’s latest competition very well.


RE/Advantage specializes in Real Estate Website Design, IDX Solutions, and Internet Technology. We have been working with the Real Estate Industry for over 10 years so we understand what makes a site work for you and your buyers and sellers. After all we have been developing real estate web sites, Internet tools and marketing strategies since 1997. No one provides a more comprehensive, well-thought-out site and tool set for your Internet presence. We provide you with not only the tools to manage and customize your site, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are here to help if you need us.

6 thoughts on “Blackberry Torch-iPhone “killer”, or just another Blackberry?

  1. Great Post!!! Is iPhone or Blackberry which is best? The answer is it depends upon the users.

    Some says iPhone 4 has so many random problems, screens cracking, over heating batteries etc.. but some other comments that iPhone 4 still remains the Standard in quality, cutting-edge software and social mind-share.

    And in blackberry there is no convenience in one key. The screen resolutions is bad.. but Email on BB rocks !!! The specifications are better compared to iPhone. So the pros and cons are there for both.

    We must look for “THE BEST” model ideal for all the users


  2. At this point I think it would be difficult to construct an iPhone killer. The thing is, even if your product was superior, at this point Apple has created a marketing sensation that will blind many consumers to the advantages of using a different smartphone. Maybe not, though.


  3. I’ve used BBs forever. Seriously – since they were pagers.

    I have a iPhone 3Gs since January.

    I love the iPhone. I love the BB keyboard and push email, YIM, basically everything but the junk web browsing and minimal screen.

    I’ve played with the torch a few times and this one will NOT be a iPhone killer, or even a run of the mill Android killer.

    The clash of the old BB-isms with the touch screen and KB was just too much for RIM to pull together into a cohesive unit.

    I could go on for a long time here so I’ll just say this. Here’s what RIM needs to make:

    A very thin device with a large AMOLED hi res touch screen and a small keyboard at the bottom. Not a slider.

    BB push email and battery life is legendary. The devices are as solid as a tank.


  4. We’ve been using BB’s here for quite some time. Love the email and BBM. HATE browsing and the tiny screen, just like you Rob. We looked at the iPhone again last year when our contract was up for renewal. I have an iPod touch and love it, so I was hoping I could get past it’s downsides, which for me are lack of custom alert tones for emails from specific contacts in your address book. If you have used Blackberry’s for any amount of time, you know that their ability to customize almost ANY of the sounds that the phone uses based on MANY conditions (message level, contact, whether it is an email or SMS, etc), is unrivaled. Each of these events can have separate tones per contact. The iPhone, even in the latest IOS4, still cannot do this. Nor have I found any app (free or otherwise) that lets the iPhone do this. I haven’t checked the Android platform out yet. I have seen the phones and they sure do look great. I will have to stop by a Verizon store to really get some hands-on time with one of them.


    1. Scot,

      Yes, those are also irritants. That’s just going too far to protect the integrity of the device. I mean really – Jobs won’t even let you change the notification sounds. Ridiculous.

      The iPhone’s biggest allure to me as a realtor is the google maps app. Using that to find the next home is a real pleasure. You can even use it to show clients what’s behind a wooded area while you are standing on the back deck, etc.

      But to me, that’s the ONLY true benefit of that phone over my BB and I can do it on the BB albeit, slower and on a much smaller screen.

      The batter life is not acceptable for a Realtor. Drive around for 8 hours using the maps, calling ahead for showing appointments and generally keeping the device awake the entire time and the battery will die in no time.

      I have NEVER had a BB batter die on me. Ever. Maybe it’s not possible. LOL!


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