updated 04:05 pm EST, Thu December 4, 2008
CDN BBerry Storm Delays
The launch of the BlackBerry Storm for Bell and Telus may be delayed to where at least one of the Canadian providers misses the holidays, a set of BGR tips as well as information given to Electronista suggests. The former reports that Bell employees have been asked to remove promo material for the Storm from stores and are being asked to suggest alternative devices, with a delay possibly pushing the touchscreen BlackBerry far enough into the future that employees are being told to stop adding to wait lists and that they may have to offer interim solutions.
While the extent of the delay isn't known, the gap is enough that a widely rumored December 15th release may now be pushed back past the "Christmas rush," which Bell often interprets as lasting through to mid-January.
Separately, Telus has started marketing the Storm much earlier but has also given no indication of when the Storm will ship for its own service despite roughly two months passing since the original release date. A company spokesman maintains that the phone will "definitely" be made available before the holidays but has also said that there is "a reason" behind the absence of a release date that can't be revealed to the public.
Early experiences from Verizon customers using the new BlackBerry suggest the device may be delayed due to significant software flaws. Many reports and early reviews cite exceptional amounts of lag and other bugs hurting the phone to where RIM is known to be developing a rapid firmware update meant to correct most of these problems; including this firmware on the Bell and Telus versions would require time to update enough phones or to build new ones.
A delay for either could be particularly damaging for RIM. The company is warning of a new subscriber shortfall for its just-ended quarter and has been pinning many of its hopes on the Storm, which is currently the company's only direct rival to the iPhone. Even under Bell's original schedule, the Storm would be available for less than two weeks where its iPhone-carrying opponent Rogers has had the iPhone since its July 11th launch date.