updated 08:55 am EST, Thu December 18, 2008
BBerry Storm Mass Returns
Verizon's first few weeks of offering BlackBerry Storm may be plagued by very large numbers of returns, based on data collected by Alley Insider. In addition to a higher than expected demographic of anecdotal reports and users on Twitter returning the touchscreen phone, the report points to claims of as many as 40 to 50 percent of all Storms having been returned due to dissatisfaction with their performance. Electronista has also heard similar observations from early adopters.
The carrier has so far declined comment on the claims.
While the exact reasons for returns are likely to vary, most observers have attributed at least some of the perceived large return rate to extreme lag in the firmware, which prompted an urgent software upgrade just two weeks after the phone had launched. The update has cleared up a number of issues but hasn't addressed some fundamental criticisms of the phone by many observers, which include a clickable screen that is believed to unnecessarily slow down typing, imprecise input and the absence of Wi-Fi.
If substantiated, the complications with the launch will potentially be heavily damaging to the finances of the BlackBerry's creator, Research in Motion. The Canadian company is depending heavily on the phone for holiday sales and has already warned that it may see a drop in new users hurt both by worldwide delays in releasing the Storm but also the delay of the BlackBerry Bold.