Verizon Wireless is trying to make the BlackBerry Storm a multimedia powerhouse, and it is bringing the V Cast Video service to the touch-screen handset.
The on-demand video service gives users the ability to watch full-length programs on-the-go, as well as stream live sporting events such as National Hockey League games on their handsets. This is the first Verizon smartphone to get the video-streaming service, which is normally found on the carrier's feature phones.
Storm users can get the V Cast Video service by downloading it from the VZ Today link in the mobile browser. The video-streaming service costs $10 a month on top of voice and data plan.
This is just the latest attempt by Verizon to bolster the capabilities of the Storm in order to help it compete against AT&T's popular iPhone lineup. Along with a drastic price cut, Verizon has pushed the Internet-radio service Slacker Radio to each Storm on its network. Slacker enables users to listen to music or talk radio based on their preferences, and it even allows users to cache songs on the phone's memory to continue playback without data connectivity.
The move is another sign that RIM's BlackBerry smartphones have moved beyond the corporate boardroom and into the mainstream market. BlackBerry devices can still handle corporate e-mail and calendars, but RIM has placed an increased emphasis on "lifestyle applications" that can be downloaded from the BlackBerry World. This has led to an explosion of app downloads for non-enterprise purposes, as RIM said the MySpace app has been downloaded at a faster rate than any app in its history.
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).