Sales of some of the new smartphones that use Research In Motions young BlackBerry 7 operating system are off to a fast start, particularly the BlackBerry Bold 9930, the new device that sports both a touchscreen and a physical keyboard.
Thats the finding of RBC Capital Markets Mike Abramsky, who checked with 40 retail outlets in the U.S. earlier this week, in the days following the debut of the new BlackBerrys. In a note to clients on Wednesday, Abramsky said 20 percent of Sprint stores he called were sold out of the Bold 9930, according to the Financial Times. And sales of the Torch 2, or 9850, appears healthy,” Abramsky said.
But its not all good news. If you head over to AT&T, youll apparently have no trouble getting your hands on the new Torch. Abramsky said Torch 2 sales at AT&T are light, blaming it on the upgraded devices similarities to the original Torch, just launched last summer.
Also bad news or good news, depending on how you look at it is this: Most of the BlackBerry buyers are return customers, the calls found. While having a loyal customer base is great, RIM is desperately in need of new buyers. The company has seen its market share plummet in recent months, and the enterprise space where RIM has traditionally been the strongest is no longer off limits to competitors. But certain international markets where BlackBerry is still very strong may prove to be where RIM can maintain an edge. Android-based devices and Apples iPhone have ripped market share away from the Canadian giant over the past couple of years, both in North America and abroad.
Abramsky predicts the new phones could be enough to boost RIMs earnings by the end of its 2012 fiscal year thats 9 percent higher than most Wall Street analysts expect. Well know more about the companys future generally regarded until now as rather bleak when RIM releases its second quarter earnings report in mid-September.
RIM has been subject of takeover rumors all summer. Microsoft, HP, Dell, Samsung and HTC have all been mentioned as possible suitors.