RedBoard video: BlackBerry Torch 9800 available from Rogers September 24

As the first carrier to bring BlackBerry to Canada, we’re excited to tell you that the BlackBerry Torch 9800 will join Rogers’ lineup on September 24. The only smartphone to have a BlackBerry keyboard and full touch screen will be available for purchase in-store and on for as low as $199.99 on a three-year term.

As we approach the launch, you can stay on top of the latest updates by signing up at

As part of our RedBoard video series, I talk to BlackBerry’s Director of Marketing, Michael McDowell about some of the new, cool features of the Torch, including a super fast new web browser, Social Feeds application, BlackBerry 6 operating system and Universal Search. (To read a transcription of the interview, click here).

What do you think of the Torch? Will you be picking up one on launch day?

UPDATE (September 23, 2010, 1:30 PM): We’ve been informed that the Canadian launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 has been changed to September 30. We’ll provide another update on RedBoard when the Torch is available.

UPDATE (September 29, 2010, 10:01 AM): The BlackBerry Torch 9800 can now be ordered at This is for new customers only, while current customers looking to upgrade can check their hardware upgrade eligibility and pricing in store starting tomorrow, September 30.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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RedBoard video: BlackBerry Torch 9800 available from Rogers September 24, 2.9 out of 5 based on 76 ratings
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  1. I was seriously thinking of getting one (my friend has a Rogers Torch test unit) however Its not an “up to date” device. Its launch in the US as terrible and the reviews aren’t much better. I’ve had 6 blackberry’s… I’m now leaning towards Samsung Captivate or iPhone 4.

    • Ready To Rumble says: September 1st, 2010 a 6:26pm

      I like this comment, thumbs up :)

    • It all depends on what you need this device for. If you are running a business, have multiple e-mail accounts and would like to have timely responses to your customers, you would not be getting anything but blackberry!

      • What makes you say that?
        I do all that with my iPhone 4 just fine. I’m not sure why you believe you can only do that – and do it well on a Blackberry.
        These days there are other otions that do the job just as well or even better.

        • Even most iPhone lovers will admit the one thing Blackberrys have on them is their email usage. BIS and BES is what makes RIM a cooperate standard.

        • because unless you have a mobile me subscription for your email, which is a pain on its own, your iphone only checks every 15 minutes for e-mails, it was very frustrating, which made me sell mine within a month and go back to my blackberry.

        • I am sorry but I have tried both the Galaxy S and Iphone 4, they both are not up to par with blackberry from an email prospective, hence the reason why Bell nor Rogers have classified the above devices (Iphone & Galaxy S) as true “business” devices. Don’t get me wrong the Samsung device is in a league of its own, it blows away the Iphone in every way and thats without it running 2.2 (Froyo).

          The Iphone 4 is a nice looking device and it has a sick display but every review I have seen when they compare the two devices, the Samsung always comes up on top including its 4″ display.

        • @ Dustin.
          You cannot push e-mail on iphone 4 (unless you’re on Mobiile me for $100/year) and cannot customize e-mail sounds from different people.

          For business people alone that feature is worth getting a blackberry.

    • Hi out2late,
      I have also had 6 Blackberries and moved to an IPhone about 4 months ago. I have now confidently concluded that was a mistake. I could write several paragraphs on why a Blackberry works much better than an IPhone, but here’s a few comments. Contact search doesn’t work near as well as BB, you can’t search by company name, only personal names, MobileMe is buggy working with PC-based applications (Outlook). I have to reset the sync settings twice weekly. MobileMe confirmed IPhone is not for business. My IPhone is good for web browsing and music. Unfortunately, that’s a minor part of my use. Also, since IPhones don’t compress data, the cost to run them outside of Canada is much more. And, commonly, my IPhone wouldn’t connect to WiFi’s. IPhone don’t send from various email accounts without a big workaround. I end up with two of every email so that I can send from various accounts. Its time-consuming. The new 9800, with the touch screen, makes me eager to come back.

      • (I’m also a bberry user since 2000)

        I was also concerned about switching away from blackberry but the rogers slowness on the 9800 and the poor specs/poor reviews convinced me to try out the galaxy s. While i’m still discovering new tweaks and tricks every day, and am anxiously awaiting Froyo release later this month, I have to say that the Android platform is pretty awesome and the Samsung Galaxy S rocks. I kind of miss some of my multi-account features and bbm, but Android also easily supports multiple accounts and now i use google talk as my primary chat tool to my wife on her blackberry, which is no different from bbm. However typing isn’t really a problem even with one hand due to swype… and the apps, browsing, and other features on Android work great for me and my business.

        Froyo is also going to add a bunch more features that will further improve its already impressive speed, but also provide some better security front ends and exchange integration.

        So far, I have no regrets in moving. If RIM has its act together in 2 years I might consider moving back, but right now they’re seriously losing momentum as the competition is out-innovating them.

  2. Finally.


  4. Yay! Can’t wait.

  5. Does anyone know how much the Torch is going to be without a contract?

    • RogersMiranda says: September 1st, 2010 a 3:49pm

      Hi there,

      We’re not ready to announce the no-term price for the Torch yet. Stay tuned.

      • Can you confirm if 9800 will support WiFi calling?

      • Hi Miranda,
        l intend on calling Rogers sales department the morning of the 24th and buying one. l am waiting very patiently for this phone. l really want one. l talked to the sales department recently and they told me l can call them up and buy one through them to save me waiting in line.
        Cant wait..
        Rob Tait

    • Based on Rogers’ track record, it will be inflated at least $50 more than what it should be. My guess is that you will be paying $599.

  6. they better not run out of stock. i’m going to flip if i need to wait few more weeks to get mine

  7. Anyone know which stores will have it on release day? Anyone wanna wait in line with me?

  8. The *only* reason somebody would get this phone would be if they wanted to keep BBM. Otherwise, this device is so far outclassed by its “competition” that it’s not even funny.

    • Different people have different needs. All you can really say is the Torch doesn’t have the same technical performance as iPhone and Android phones and BlackBerry OS doesn’t have as much developer support. Those are facts. The rest is opinion.

      To me the Torch is the best phone on the North American market today… not even considering BBM. I’ve used Android and iPhone smartphones. They are definitely fun to use but they would never make my day easier. I find them inefficient to control/navigate and battery life is really poor.

      • Technical performance and developer support are my 2 big reasons for not wanting a BB. Lol. And battery life is really a non-issue, as far as I’m concerned. If it can make it till the evening without needing a charge (which the Galaxy S and iPhone 4 both can), I’m fine with having to charge it every night. I’ve done so with my 3G for the last 2 years and never ran into a problem where I ran out of battery when I needed it.

        And everyone’s preferences are going to be different. I’ve been using BB OS6 on a simulated Torch here at work for development purposes, and I *far* prefer Android or iOS, myself. But then, a smartphone for me is primarily a web surfing/music/video device, that lets me email occasionally and text all day long… If I was doing tons of work email and didn’t want high performance entertainment out of it, I might prefer a BB with it’s hardware keyboard.

        • you mus not use your iphone often during the day because mine only lasts me from 7am-5pm before its totally dead. only using it for about a couple hours of talking the entire day and a few texts

        • Actually, for many BB users battery life is one of the biggest issues. I can’t be caught with a dead battery because I forget to charge it one night. If you want a non-issue, for your average user developer support would be it.

      • I get as much battery life from my Galaxy S as I did with my blackberry 9000, except I use my Galaxy way more since it has so much more functionality.

        I will be interested to see my data usage stats however. I rarely exceeded 100Mb on my blackberry despite having the 6GB data plan. That is due to BBerry’s data compression and the fact that it was essentially useless for any data intensive uses. Android will increase the usage quite a bit I suspect, costing me more potentially on overseas business trips where i need data roaming. We shall see. Maybe I’ll have to put the sim back in my 9000 on long trips.

    • Ryan, I am sure you haven’t owned a Blackberry or used it extensively. If you had, you would know there are multiples of reasons why a BB functions much better than an IPhone. I know – I have used them both. IPhone are great for music and web browsing. But for business use, contact management, multiple emails or efficient data management, the IPhone is not in the game.

      • Watchman – if you’ll notice my post right above yours, I actually said that if I was doing tons of work email and didn’t want high performance entertainment, I would probably go for a BB. Which is pretty much exactly what you said. Lol. And I’m actually not even getting an iPhone, I’m planning on getting a Captivate, whenever Rogers decides to launch it.

        What “efficient data management” do you need your phone to do for you, just out of curiosity?

      • Oh, and actually, my previous phone to my current iPhone 3G was actually a BB Pearl… So I’m no stranger to the BB OS (and also, as I mentioned above, I’m doing development on the BB platform). So I’m very familiar with the BB in general, and it’s just not a device that suits my needs (or the needs of most non-business consumers, for that matter). The problem is, RIM is still flailing around trying to compete in the consumer smartphone market, as the Torch and BBOS 6 show (not to mention the new app store they’re setting up), and they are not doing a very good job.

        • HAHA, good one. the pearl is the reason why most people who hate blackberries, well hate blackberries. They were crap low end consumer phones.

          Funny how looking on the internet here you would think everyone is using a smartphone and that people are individual. In the past 3 months i have seen so many people switch to blackberry just because of the name and don’t even know these things have cpu clock speeds. Its the same reason i know atleast 6 people in the last 2 weeks who have picked up 8530′s… Thats a 2g phone NOT EVEN 3g!!!(EV-DO on Bell and telus don’t count.) Going off saying bb will fail and has no hope in the consumer market is soooo wrong. i know that the iphone and higher end android phones out spec the torch, and i am still getting one. for many reasons i want a solid reliable phone with a crazy battery, bbm, multiple emails(including my rogers bb email i have integrated into my life so much since it is the fastest exchange server i have ever used.) among other things.

          I will get a Blackberry torch as my phone, a galaxy tab for android and a 4th gen ipod touch. why do i have any need for anything else when i can have all three?

          • Well fair enough – for me? My needs are perfectly satisfied by a single Android phone. It’s got all my app needs, perfectly satisfies my email and texting needs (since none of my friends are on BBM), and WELL exceeds my mobile entertainment (ie music and video) needs. One device, that’s always in my pocket, as opposed to 3 separate devices.

            And I stand by my statement – until BB gets better hardware, and better developer support (and gets some better developer tools, my GOD it’s a pain in the butt writing apps for BB), they’re always going to fall behind in the consumer market. Look at all the Torch reviews complaining about how laggy it is, that’s not exactly going to set the consumer market on fire.

            Don’t get me wrong – I would *love* to see RIM succeed outside of the business world, since they’re the only Canadian company in the market (and I went to university right next to their offices), but I don’t think the Torch is going to be the phone to do it for them.

          • Very well stated John!

          • With respect, you’re sounding a bit too fanboyish.

            I’ve been a bold 9000 user since the day it came out and honestly, it wasn’t that great except for core blackberry functions, worldmate, and a couple other apps. I don’t think the whole 3g/2g difference really had much of an impact on bberry use since it was pretty much useless for data-intensive use (browsing/multimedia) until OS 6 was released anyways.

            As for the battery, from what I’ve read, the 9800 battery life is no better than the 9000/9700, and that was pretty standard (better than iphone no doubt, but not great).

            And the multiple emails support is easy and works well (for me anyways) on Android. Not so sure about iphone as I haven’t used one for about a year.

            Everyone’s going to have their preference of course, but I’ll be curious to see how sales trend once Rogers has the Captivate, iPhone, and Torch in active sales with adequate stock of all 3. I’ve been a long time bberry user but man am I worried about RIM’s future lately.

  9. Steven Rodriguez says: September 1st, 2010 a 12:08pm

    Can the device be pre-ordered for those of us planning to obtain it through a hardware upgrade?

  10. I don’t understand all these negative comments about the device. Could you guys be more specific about what’s wrong with it? Also, if I am eligible for a hardware upgrade to the iphone 4 for the 159 price I should be eligible for the Torch at 199 right?

  11. Might have to pick this up if the Captivate isn’t out yet. Nice to see the RogersMiranda is a real person!!

    • RogersMiranda says: September 1st, 2010 a 1:50pm

      Hah! Yes, I’m a real person! :) I guess you haven’t checked out any of the other RedBoard videos we’ve done. You would have seen me there too.

  12. I’m excited to try the new torch 9800. We have approx. 10 people that walk into my store (Rogers Dealer – Experience Communications) each day and ask if we have the device.

    • Ready To Rumble says: September 1st, 2010 a 6:29pm

      I dunno, where are you located? could be me, lmao, but I ask for the Captivate first … then they give you this look, like either they honestly know nothing, or they’re contemplating a reaction. I usually get,

      “Oh, … what’s that?” (really? ……..SERIOUSLY NOW) and ask them about the Torch, “yeah not sure yet” :\

  13. When I did my upgrade to 9700 last year (Previous HUP was to 9000), I could get it for $299 by renewing my contract even though it’s only been around a year into the contract. Would I be able to do the same with the Torch this time? (By renewing my contract to 3 years)

    • RogersMiranda says: September 1st, 2010 a 1:55pm

      Hey Chris,

      We don’t have access to customer account info, so it would be best for you to call Care to ask about your hardware upgrade eligibility.

  14. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about line-ups or running out of stock for the Torch.

    “According to Goldman Sachs the response to the handset has been ‘underwhelming’ and not many stores are going out of stock…” “Blackberry Torch: Goldman says sales poor, Amazon cuts price by 50%”

    You will be behind the technology curve with this phone
    With the Captivate, I believe you can wireless tether devices like the new Samsung Pad.

  15. Why is a phone with an outdated screen, slower processer and less memory priced higher than say a galaxy S or iphone4, sorry RIM I really wanted to make the switch from my old phone but I cant pay more for less.

  16. I have had the Torch for 2 weeks. I went from an iPhone 3GS to a Bold 9700 and then the Torch. I love the Torch. Stop looking at all the reviews. Go try the phone out when it is launched and see if it fits your needs and you like it. Processor this, screen that. The Torch is underlocked from 800mhz to 624 mhz and the iPhone 4 is 1Ghz underclocked to 800Mhz. The torch has been out 3weeks? New Blackberry 6 OS. The Torch will get smoother and better will OS leaks etc. If you want a very nice screen then go with Android and Apple. The Torch screen is totally fine and is basically the same resolution of the 3GS.

    Media on the Torch is very much improved. Web Browsing Basically on the same lines at apple. Little slower but they are doing stuff to improve the browser even more as we speak. I tested my Torch to my buddies 3GS and the torch won on 10 of 10 pages loaded. I’msorry but the Torch is a very good phone. I can never put it down.

    • I’m looking to upgrade my phone and looking at either torch or 9700. Since you’ve owned it which would you say is more productive and comfortable to use.

  17. how much is it without contract? or how much do we expect it to be

    • I’m guessing $499

      • RogersMiranda says: September 1st, 2010 a 3:52pm

        Hi M Cabral and out2late,

        As I mentioned above to Finza, we’re not ready to announce the no-term price for the Torch just yet. Stay tuned.

      • Ready To Rumble says: September 1st, 2010 a 6:32pm

        Doubt it’s 499.99 ( could be wrong of course!). I had to buy my Storm 1&2 unlock them from telus, and those ran something about 599? 649 or so before taxes, MTS(manitoba) had them at like a whopping 700 or something insane like that. If you look at their Bold line, those are about 549-599-649, so to assume anything less I doubt it. (again! could be wrong!)

        I would say.. Possibly 549-649? Who knows… Lol,

        My 2 cents.

  18. Wooohooo!!! Can’t wait!!

  19. It’s probably going to be $549 without contract

Trackbacks & Pings

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  16. Rogers Officially Announces Torch 9800 Launching September 25th for $199.99 on 3 Year Term | Berry Reporter
  17. BlackBerry Torch 9800 Available on Rogers September 24, $199 on Contract | Hector Alvarez
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  20. Rogers Officially Announces Torch 9800 Launching September 24th for $199.99 on 3 Year Term [Update: Telus Launching Same Day] | Finest Mobile