updated 09:05 pm EDT, Thu October 7, 2010
RIM may have axed Storm3 for all carriers
Plans to drop the BlackBerry Storm3 may not only affect Verizon but every carrier, a notice to a developer may have revealed today. The app writer was told that the 9570, a "refresh" of the Storm2, was no longer being developed at all and that an app written for the touchscreen model would have to be modified to fit other hardware. BBLeaks' copy of the memo instead steered the developer towards writing BlackBerry 6 apps for upgradeable phones like the Bold 9650 and Curve 3G.
"Regrettably, RIM has decided not to pursue this device further and has ended the program," the message said.
While a chance exists that the phone may live on at Vodafone, the wording implies that the third-generation Storm has been killed altogether. RIM had strong sales of the original Storm soon after its launch in November 2008, but demand soon tapered off and saw Verizon selling the phone for as little as $50 on a contract. The Storm2 was widely considered to be fatal as Verizon downplayed it in favor of the Droid, whose higher-profile launch and more modern hardware almost entirely overshadowed the Storm's efforts.
RIM had positioned the Storm as an iPhone rival but had little success convincing customers to avoid switching to AT&T or luring them over to Verizon. The Storm3 was unlikely to have a similar effect as it would have used virtually identical hardware to the year-old predecessor, just with more RAM, the new OS and a five-megapixel camera.