updated 08:25 am EST, Thu November 20, 2008
BBerry Storm Shortage
The launch of Verizon's BlackBerry Storm on Friday may fall short of expectations due to a last-minute flaw, according to tips given to BGR. A security issue discovered at the last moment by RIM has reportedly forced both it and Verizon to update the firmware at the last minute and cut back on the supplies of phones for launch day. One Verizon store slated to receive 100 units will now get just 40, an individual example notes.
The maneuver will still give Verizon stores a supply for launch day but will spread it thinly and is expected to result in shortages for at least some shops. Additionally, third-party retailers like Best Buy are now being given second priority and may have their in-store dates pushed back to ensure healthy supplies at carrier stores.
A delay dampens any likelihood of a strong launch working in favor of the Storm, which is RIM's first touchscreen BlackBerry and is being touted as Verizon's best chance at competing with AT&T's version of the iPhone 3G. Apple sold one million of the newer iPhone worldwide in its first weekend, most of which are commonly accepted as having gone to US residents.
Aside from its new interface, the Storm has a number of potential advantages over Apple's hardware, including cut-and-paste text, a "clickable" capacitive touchscreen, full turn-by-turn GPS navigation and removables such as the battery and microSDHC memory cards.