BlackBerry Torch Sells for Half Price at Amazon
Editor's note: An earlier version of the BlackBerry Torch story said that Amazon had "slashed" the Torch price in half, when in fact the retailer has sold the phone for $99.99 since its launch. The story has been corrected.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The price of Research In Motion's (RIMM) new BlackBerry Torch is selling for half the AT&T (T) launch price, but opinions are divided on whether the cheaper price is a sign that the phone and its maker are struggling.
The new BlackBerry has already earned some rave reviews, although there has been talk of sluggish sales. Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that analysts are divided on initial Torch demand with sales estimates ranging from healthy to underwhelming.
But other analysts have told TheStreet that the cheaper Torch price doesn't signify anything too dire. "Let's be clear on one thing -- the prices are falling, the sky is not," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst at research firm IDC. "I don't think that RIM is stumbling out of the gate after just one week."Llamas explained that, unlike Apple's (AAPL) consumer-focused iPhone, RIM's BlackBerry is geared more towards enterprises, which often work with long procurement cycles. The price cut, he adds, could also be the result of broader unease in the economy. "What I have heard is that IT spending is going to rebound, but a lot of people are moving forward cautiously," explained Llamas. "I don't see this as the end of the world." The Torch is still being sold at its regular price of $199.99 at RIM partner AT&T (T). Analyst firm Gleacher & Company cited "good demand" for the new phone in a note released on Tuesday after surveying numerous AT&T stores. "Our checks reveal that many stores had sold around half of the initial shipments," wrote Gleacher analyst Mark McKechnie, adding that this was similar to last year's Bold2 launch. "We had not expected a consumer phenomenon à la the iPhone 4 or Motorola's (MOT) Droid X as we view the Torch as largely an upgrade for loyal Blackberry road warriors." -- Reported by James Rogers in New York Follow James Rogers on Twitter.
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