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RIM’s Storm hits Verizon Wireless at $200

The new BlackBerry Storm from Research In Motion Ltd. will be available Nov. 21 at Verizon Wireless for $200, with two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate.
The Storm’s subsidized price comes in at the same price point as Apple Inc.’s iPhone 3G with 8 GB of onboard memory – the widely accepted new price ceiling for touchscreen smartphones priced to sell.
While the Storm’s features have been touted, its price point was the critical variable awaited by the wireless industry. Several analysts have said that, given RIM’s tepid outlook – widely shared by competitors – the Storm represents a possible growth driver.
A differentiator for the Storm: the touchscreen provides a “click” response to being pressed, while the iPhone relies on its visual responsiveness and other touchscreens provide a haptic vibration.
The device will pack 3G connectivity on Verizon’s CDMA Rev. A network and offers GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz) for global roaming. Verizon parent Vodafone has said it will roll out the device in Europe.
RIM is positioning the Storm to both enterprise and consumer segments. The company, once enterprise-centric, now straddles both markets effectively. Recent data reflects that as much as 60% of RIM’s new sales are to consumers.
For Verizon, the device adds another arrow in its portfolio, which must contend with rival AT&T Mobility, which has an exclusive deal to sell the iPhone.


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