BlackBerry Torch off to a solid start

Despite a number of news reports claiming that sales of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 being “tepid” or “disappointing” the actual numbers show sales to be better than expected. Just because the Torch didn’t get an iPhone style roll out (which has never been RIM’s style), doesn’t mean that the Torch hasn’t had an excellent first week.

One of the advantages of developing one of BlackBerry’s most popular games is that you get a large enough sample size of user data to get a good idea of trends are happening in the BlackBerry ecosystem. So far the early signs show that the BlackBerry Torch is almost 12 times more popular then the Bold 9650 was during its first week on Verizon.

While the raw numbers are in fact higher, this is unimportant as there are a large number of factors going into that such a carrier and the popularity of the application at the given time. In order to adjust for this the Torch 9800 on was normalized against the 9700 on AT&T, and the Bold 9650 was normalized against the 9630 on Verizon. This showed the opening week for the Torch to be 11.9 times better the opening week for the 9650 was a few months ago. The Torch is off to a strong start, and will only continue to do so when it is rolled out across the Canadian carriers.

OS5.0 upgrade rates

With the recent release of BlackBerry OS6, the upgrade rate to OS5 continues to be a bit slow. But despite all the complaints about Verizon being slow to roll out an update for the Tour, popular Verizon phones like the 9530 and the 9630 have some of the best upgrade rates. The upgrade rate on the Storm has not improved that much over the past few months. Full data below.


Device OS 4.X OS 5.0
9630 16.3% 83.7%
9530 13.1% 86.9%
9500 48.6% 51.4%
9000 77.2% 22.8%
8900 80.5% 19.5%
8520 85.8% 14.2%


This data came from July downloads of the popular strategy game Pixelated.

Pixelated 2.3 releases with improvements

Pixelated has now been updated in BlackBerry AppWorld to version 2.3. Pixelated is the most popular Strategy game in BlackBerry AppWorld, and now adds a number of improvements and brand new features.

Alternate Colour Schemes

Version 2.3 of Pixelated introduces alternate colour schemes to mix up the appearance of the game. Besides the standard colour scheme that has been available all along, there is now also an all red theme.

Improved Performance

Overall application performance has been improved. Compared to the previous version Pixelated has seen a 26.4% reduction in file size, while adding features and running faster.

Clear Statistics

Inside the achievements page there is now a menu option to clear all statistics and achievements that you have earned so far. Be careful, however, because this can not be undone.

BlackBerry Torch Support

Pixelated version 2.3 supports the brand new BlackBerry Torch 9800. On the Torch Pixelated can be played by both the touch screen and the trackpad. The brand new BlackBerry Curve 9300 is also now supported.

Pixelated requires a minimum of OS 4.6 considering that is met the 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 8910, 9000, 9100, 9105, 9300, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, 9700, and 9800 are all supported.

Links

Pixelated Plus 2.3 adds new features

Pixelated Plus has now been updated in BlackBerry AppWorld to version 2.3. Pixelated Plus is the most popular Strategy game in BlackBerry AppWorld, and now adds a number of brand new features.

Alternate Colour Schemes

Version 2.3 of Pixelated introduces alternate colour schemes to mix up the appearance of the game. Besides the standard colour scheme that has been available all along, there is now also the possibility of selecting a pastel theme, an “other” theme (pictured above), a Black & White theme, as well as all red, and all blue themes.

Replay Games

Replay Pixelated PlusA new feature exclusive to the Plus version of Pixelated is the ability to replay games. Now following the conclusion of a game (win or loss), along with seeing the outcome of the previous game, an opportunity to replay the same layout over again will be presented. This will allow you to take another try at a screen that you are unable to beat, or to try and get a better score then you just posted.

Clear Statistics

Inside the statistics, best scores, and achievements pages there is now a menu option to clear all statistics, best scores, and achievements that you have earned so far. Be careful, however, because this can not be undone.

BlackBerry Torch Support

Pixelated Plus version 2.3 supports the brand new BlackBerry Torch 9800. On the Torch Pixelated can be played by both the touch screen and the trackpad. The soon to be released BlackBerry Curve 9300 will also be supported.

Pixelated Plus requires a minimum of OS 4.6 considering that is met the 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 8910, 9000, 9100, 9105, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9650, 9700, and 9800 are all supported.

Links

Application Support for the BlackBerry Torch

Twinkle on the BlackBerry TorchYesterday RIM announced the launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800. It has a new operating system and input mechanism, making application support for it a mixed bag.

First of all Twinkle can support already support the Torch, and will be good to go on day one.

Pixelated and Pixelated Plus will support the BlackBerry Torch starting with version 2.3 which should be available before the Torch goes on sale next week. More on version 2.3 of Pixelated in the coming days…

The Hockey Scores application can support the Torch, but is due for an update to version 2.0 before the start of the 2010-2011 hockey season. As such there is no reason to make this application available for the 9800 immediately. Expect version 2.0 of Hockey Scores to be released in early October.

10,000 Farkle is the one application that is a bit buggy on the BlackBerry Torch. As such Farkle support on the 9800 will be held off until the application can be updated to version 1.2.