Amazon Price for BlackBerry Torch Is No Cut

Research in Motion today called reports that has cut the price of RIM's new BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone to $99.99 "inaccurate and misleading."

RIM, through a spokeswoman, said that has been selling the new smartphone for $99.99 since its launch on Aug. 12, following an "obviously ... common online pricing and promotional strategy that has been used with many other product introductions in the past." Carrier AT&T sells the new Torch for $199.99.

The spokeswoman added, "it is true that Amazon is offering an amazing price and this is great news for customers."

Computerworld reported's Torch 9800 pricing without referring to it as a price cut.

However, some Web sites and bloggers have called's pricing scheme a cut. did not comment on its pricing practices, although several analysts said that pricing would likely have been a point negotiated between Amazon officials and RIM officials.

There are, indeed, many dramatic examples of smartphone discounts on various Web sites, including For example, the Sony Ericsson Xperia x10 at AT&T is listed on Wirefly for $80, after AT&T had launched it Monday for $250.

In another example, the Motorola Droid 2, released by Verizon last week for $200 is advertised on for $150.

Blogger Seth Weintraub on asserted that "every BlackBerry ever invented is heavily discounted."

On one page for BlackBerry devices, a Bold 9700 phone from AT&T is actually listed as costing 1 cent.

Several analysts, including Michael Gartenberg at Altimeter Research and Jack Gold at J. Gold Associates said that the Amazon pricing for the Torch shouldn't be seen as an indication of problems with the Torch or its sales.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is .

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

At a Glance
  • The Torch smartphone successfully delivers a design that is both innovative and familiar to BlackBerry users, but its performance and features aren’t quite up to par. Read the full review


    • Excellent keyboard/touchscreen design
    • BlackBerry 6 OS adds much-needed features


    • Performance can be sluggish
    • Display has lower resolution than rival phones

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter