The BlackBerry Torch only sold 150,000 units in its first three days? That's not bad at all. The real disappointment here is how deeply RIM bought into its own hype.
The hordes are proclaiming the Torch a massive failure, and they're right—but not because of how many units they sold. 150,000 handsets is a lot of phones. In fact, it's totally in line with other major launches of the last couple of years: Sprint sold that many Evo 4Gs in its first three days, and it's three times as many as the Palm Pre managed at launch.
Who it didn't compete with, of course, is the iPhone. The 3GS and 3G both moved a million over their opening weekends, and 1.7 million people took home an iPhone 4 at launch. And that's where RIM got into trouble.
The BlackBerry Torch wasn't just another phone to RIM. It was the phone, that RIM CEO Jim Balsillie openly described as "a quantum leap over anything that's out there." Multiple videos hyping BlackBerry 6 oozed a jazzy confidence that bordered on cocksure. A mysterious monolith display in AT&T stores cranked up the gears of the hype machine. They pushed this phone like it was their last chance.