US Retailers have slashed the price of the BlackBerry Torch by 50 per cent as sales remain sluggish, a situation that does not bode well for the UK launch in a few weeks.
The smartphone is still retailing for $199.99 (£129) on the AT &T web site, but retailers including Amazon, Let's Talk and Wirefly are offering the Torch for $99 (£63) when purchased with a service plan.
Just 150,000 units were sold over the opening weekend in the US, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The figure is dwarfed by the 1.7 million iPhone 4 units shipped in its first three days, but the Apple device did launch to a worldwide audience simultaneously.
Prices being cut so quickly after a launch is unusual, but RIM is a market leader in the US and it makes sense to be aggressive, according to Tim Shepherd, an analyst at Canalys.
"It is difficult to compare direct sales figures between the iPhone 4 and the Blackberry Torch and get a reliable read, as BlackBerry launches are not surrounded by as much media hype as an Apple product," he said.
"The Torch showcases BlackBerry OS 6 and is an important device for RIM, and BlackBerrys have a loyal user base, so people have waited for this device."
The Torch ships with a 480 x 360 resolution 3.2in touch screen, slide out Qwerty keyboard and a 5-megapixel camera.
RIM has not announced a UK launch date, but Shepherd is optimistic that the device will do well. The analyst cited a good touch screen and physical Qwerty keyboard as attractive elements.
RIM is hoping that the BlackBerry Torch will bring it some much needed positive publicity. The manufacturer has been repeatedly threatened with sanctions by various governments, most recently in India, because of the devices' high level of encryption.
V3.co.uk contacted RIM to discuss the Torch price reduction, but the manufacturer had not responded at the time of writing.
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