Sales of the BlackBerry’s latest Torch 9800, initially hit by the model's high price, have zoomed in the US market after its prices were slashed by half earlier this month, media reports said.

Operator AT&T effected a cut in the price of Torch 9800 to $99 from $199 two weeks ago resulting in higher sales of the smartphone, which ruled the market till its competitors entered the scene.

AT&T's price cut of the Torch to $99 in mid-November has stimulated sell-through, including upgrades and new users,” a report quoted Mike Abramsky, a market analyst with RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Capital Markets as saying on Monday.

The price cut has catapulted the BlackBerry Torch 9800 to the second best-selling smartphone on the AT&T network only after the iPhone, the report said.

The report also quoted a smartphone user survey by ChangeWave Research that showed 64 percent people are very satisfied with the new BlackBerry smartphone, though the iPhone continues to lead with as much as 84 percent expressing satisfaction with the Apple device.

Users found the BlackBerry Torch to be the most satisfying device from Research In Motion (RIM) to date, the survey said, adding that BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Curve scored only 48 percent and 40 percent respectively on the satisfaction levels.

But, Verizon’s Android smart phones still continue to cut into the BlackBerry market.

Furthermore, Apple's CDMA-based iPhone planned for the US market next year may make more inroads into the BlackBerry market share, the report said.

Despite all this, RIM is expected to ship 5.4 million BlackBerry smart phones in the current quarter.

RIM, which shipped a record 12 million smart phones in the last quarter, posted a net income of $796.7 million.