The BlackBerry Torch is the newest BlackBerry phone (as of August 2010). It is offered with mobile service exclusively by AT&T. According to Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry, you can get the BlackBerry in the U.S. from AT&T and Best Buy. AT&T offers the BlackBerry Torch online with a two-year service contract for $200. A data plan of at least $15 is required. Voice plans start at $40 and go up to $200 for individual plans at cost. A BlackBerry Torch no contract option is possible but you’ll have to pay $500 for the phone without a contract.
Best Buy stores sell the BlackBerry Torch both with AT&T new phone service activation and as a standalone. To purchase the phone with AT&T service you pay just $200 with a two-year contract. There is an early termination fee of $325 associated with the service. If you want to buy the phone without AT&T service it costs $550. The phone comes with a SIM card which can be replaced with the SIM card of any other phone service that uses a SIM card. Best Buy offers the phone with a one-year warranty for parts and for labor. This is important because RIM only responds to service requests from customers who bought their phones directly from the company.
There are a number of other retailers offering the BlackBerry Torch both as a standalone and with a two-year AT&T contract. The best deal so far comes from Amazon.com which is offering the BlackBerry Torch for $100. The company has also chosen, for a limited time, to cover the $36 activation fee for new customers or those who upgrade. Amazon expects to recoup the cost of its deep discount of the phone as well as activation fees by earning commissions from AT&T when people activate new phone service. Another company that is offering the BlackBerry Torch for $100 is Letstalk.com. In addition to the automatic $100 discount you also get free shipping. Bear in mind that you need new AT&T activation with a two-year contract. If you do not sign up for a contract the Torch costs $550. Other companies like Walmart and Radio Shack also sell the BlackBerry Torch with service and a contract for $180 and $200 respectively.
Buying the BlackBerry Torch Outside the United States
BlackBerry phones are available outside the United States from a variety of retailers and cell phone service providers. The RIM website provides a comprehensive list of providers and phones available for the U.S. and Canada. Right now the Torch is not available in Canada but the company’s website is the best place to check for updates on when the Torch will be available for purchase in Canada.