Mobile // Mobile Devices
01:27 PM

Verizon Slashes BlackBerry Storm Price

RIM's touchscreen Storm is now more competitive with the $100 Apple iPhone 3G from AT&T.

Blackberry Storm
(click image for larger view)
BlackBerry Storm

Verizon Wireless is cutting the price of the BlackBerry Storm to $99 in order to better compete with AT&T's iPhone 3G.

The Storm is the first touchscreen BlackBerry from Research In Motion. It was designed specifically to give Verizon an alternative to the popular iPhone lineup. The handset debuted in November last year for about $200 with a new contract, and it sold well over a million units despite some launch bugs that led to mixed reviews.

AT&T and Apple upped the ante recently with the release of the iPhone 3GS, which boasted hardware improvements, new software, video-recording abilities, and the handset sold over a million units during its launch weekend. The companies also dropped the price of the iPhone 3G to $99 for new contracts, which is an aggressive price point for a device that has been so popular with consumers.

Despite its appearance, the Storm is still a BlackBerry, which means it has strong corporate and personal e-mail capabilities. The handset also has GPS, 3G capabilities, Bluetooth, expandable memory, multimedia options, and it can access the BlackBerry App World to download and install new programs over the air.

The move also paves the way for a sequel to the Storm, which RIM CEO Jim Balsillie has already confirmed is in the works. The "Storm 2" is expected to have beefier hardware, a better touch-screen input method, and Wi-Fi. RIM and Verizon have not officially said when the next-generation Storm will be launched, but most industry watchers expect it to be released before the holiday season this year.

Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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