Long time BlackBerry users have expressed concerns that the new 9800 Torch will fail to measure up to its smartphone rivals, notably the Apple iPhone 4, according to a survey by rightmobilephones.co.uk.
The major issue cited by existing users of Research in Motion (RIM) smartphones is the lack of apps on the BlackBerry App World download service, which compared to the likes of the iPhone App Store and the Android Market is relatively under-stocked.
37 per cent of respondents said that they weren’t even aware of the name of the Canadian manufacturer behind the BlackBerry range, suggesting that RIM, despite being the world’s second largest smartphone maker, does not have the same brand presence in the market as Apple.
Over a thousand current BlackBerry owners participated in the study and more than half complained that the new Torch smartphone bears too many similarities to previous devices in RIM's stable.
A greater proportion of BlackBerry users, 66 per cent, said that the popularity of the Torch would never approach the levels achieved by the iPhone 4.
In a twist to the tale, 74 per cent of respondents were unwilling to purchase a touchscreen smartphone, suggesting that the time and money invested by RIM in developing the Torch may be wasted on its core audience.
The emailing capabilities and full physical QWERTY keypads of the BlackBerry range continue to be the draw for RIM’s customers.
When asked whether the rumoured contender from RIM to Apple’s iPad tablet would be a success, the respondents said it would be overlooked by most due to minimal consumer interest.
Neil McHugh, co-founder of rightmobilephone.co.uk, said: "Apple and BlackBerry have a very different target audience.
“Whilst the BlackBerry appeals to professionals and business types with its seamless e-mail, the iPhone can be enjoyed more by a wider audience thanks to the range of fun apps and features."