RIM is pushing a BlackBerry Torch 9800 software update designed to tweak its flagship smartphone's performance.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry Torch 9800 is receiving a software update
designed to speed up the smartphone's browser, application-launching, e-mail
and messaging, and unlocking functions. In addition, the update will reportedly
improve the device's audio quality and ability to render both media-gallery
thumbnails and transitions on the home screen.
The update is scheduled to push its way onto Torch 9800s in coming weeks.
However, those too anxious to wait can download it manually from this
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is the first RIM smartphone to run the BlackBerry
6 OS, which includes features such as unified social-networking feeds, wireless
syncing with DRM-free music on a PC and a Universal Search application that
allows users to scan for content on both the device and the broader Web.
The smartphone's hardware, such as its sliding QWERTY keyboard, attracted
positive notices from reviewers; however, some
initial reviews hinted at software kinks.
The new software update may be an
attempt to address those concerns.
reported quarterly revenues of $4.62 billion
for the second quarter of
fiscal 2011, a year-over-year growth of 31 percent. In addition, the company
posted shipments of 12.1 million BlackBerry units, an increase of 45 percent
over the same quarter in 2009, and a net addition of 4.5 million net BlackBerry
Those numbers suggest RIM is managing to hold its ground in the face of aggressive
competition from the Apple iPhone and from Google Android devices, which have
been making inroads into BlackBerry's traditional enterprise base. RIM
introduced the BlackBerry Torch 9800 in an attempt to not only provide those
business users with a cutting-edge smartphone, but also appeal to a consumer demographic.
"In order to create a bulwark against incursions in their market from
Apple and Google, RIM needs to expand its footprint," Charles King, an
analyst with Pund-IT Research, told eWEEK Aug. 3. "RIM became the device
of choice in the business market because they represented the cutting edge of
that market five, six, seven years ago."
During a Sept. 16 earnings call, RIM executives suggested that the Torch
9800 was selling better than analysts believed. "We are pleased with the
positive impact," Jim Balsillie, co-CEO
of RIM, told reporters. "Torch sell-through run rates have more than
tripled in AT&T stores." However, he offered no hard numbers to
counteract earlier analyst estimates that the
Torch 9800 sold only 150,000 units in the weekend following its wide release
Aug. 12; a September report from Morgan Stanley estimated a total of 600,000
is also preparing the PlayBook,
an enterprise-centric tablet PC, to compete
against Apple's iPad.