updated 12:45 pm EST, Wed December 10, 2008
Telus BBerry Storm Ships
Telus today officially became the first Canadian carrier to start selling the BlackBerry Storm. The carrier notes that "limited" numbers of the touchscreen smartphone should be in its stores today and will sell for the promised $250 on a three-year plan and $600 when contract-free. Telus' version clings to the reference version's 3.2-megapixel camera, hybrid CDMA/GSM with matching 3G, and 1GB of internal memory. Telus' version is more conspicuously pitched against the iPhone and comes with an 8GB microSDHC card preloaded with music from the Arts & Crafts label.
The launch however reinforces concerns of a stalled Canadian launch, according to tips from BGR. Telus is reported to have just 2,500 phones for all of Canada as part of the launch and accordingly will only have larger quantities by January, effectively shutting the company out of any significant holiday sales and handing sales of touchscreen phones to Rogers' adaptation of the iPhone 3G. A collection of promos on the touchscreen LG Dare as well as the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl are believed to exist to shore up sales.
Bell Canada has yet to announce a ship date of its own for the Storm and may not begin its own sales until January as well.
The delays have resulted in both carriers launching the Storm at least a full two months after their respective original announcements and is believed to stem in part from the rough state of the launch firmware for Verizon and Vodafone, both of which have had to issue rushed firmware updates to fix issues with lag and crashes.