The launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 has received largely positive reviews from analysts and commentators.
A combination of new hardware and an improved operating system in BlackBerry OS 6 will provide a boost for RIM, and help the company bridge its traditional marketplace with a growing foothold in the consumer market.
The Blackberry Torch 9800 has a hard keyboard and a touch-screen interface, and will appeal to heavy-input business professionals and casual users alike, according to Eric Klein, senior analyst for mobile and wireless at VDC Research.
"It will give users the best of both worlds," he told V3.co.uk. " Everyone is trying to catch up with Apple, and RIM has effectively done this."
Klein explained that slider phones are difficult to pull off because of the hardware trade-off in terms of space and design, but BlackBerry OS 6, while not as highly-specified as competing platforms, will be good enough to satisfy business users and tempt the mass market.
"The Torch offers a more traditional solution to RIM's core users, with the added bonus of a new operating system that improves the touch experience," said Carolina Milanesi, a research vice president in Gartner's Mobile Devices team.
"It will certainly offer a nice upgrade path for BlackBerry Bold users. From demos I have seen, it seems that the new operating system is an improvement but not a feature that will set RIM apart from its competitors."
Milanesi concluded that the device will allow RIM to hold its ground against strong competition from Apple and Android. AT&T will also benefit from having the phone, since its hold on the iPhone market may be ending soon.
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