Thursday, November 6, 2008

They're in NY - If you can find them - The Verizon Storm

The heavily anticipated Blackberry Storm is just days away from appearing at your local retailer, possibly even sooner.

Seeking to capture as much of the US cellphone market share as possible, Verizon today dropped the prices (significantly) on a host of other Blackberry and other 'SmartPhone' devices.

The nation's largest cell carrier (after the closing of the acquisition of Alltel) has it's eyes set straight on the iPhone market. The timing, just before Christmas, couldn't be better.

Announced months ago, the 'Storm' is a touch-screen Blackberry device with a 3.25 inch LCD Hi-Resolution HVGA display.  1 GB of memory (expandable) is standard and includes a 3.2 MP camera (with zoom and flash)..  Bluetooth, a full HTML web browser, Facebook anf Flickr apps are integrated as well.

The Blackberry Software set (4.7) which allows editing of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files and the Verizon 'VZ  Navigator' audible GPS system is onboard as well.

The big difference?  Verizon's Storm operates on a large group of US (and Worldwide) cell frequencies including EvDO Rev A, GSM, GRPS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA and MSM7600.

Battery life can be as much as 15 days on standby with approximately 6 hours of 'talk' time.

While AT&T can still claim the largest worldwide 3G coverage, Verizon's high-speed and fringe network footprint here in the US is larger, especially away from the Interstate highways and primary cities.

So, while many of us that travel these areas have been a little hesitant to get an iPhone, the 'Storm' could be a huge hit for Verizon as they quietly continue ramping up the promotions.

Earlier today, Verizon 'hid' 45 Blackberry Storms throughout New York City.  Once you 'find one', you have a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win your own Storm (or other prizes).  The more you find, the better your chances (one entry per day from November 6th through November 15th).  A map will be launched on the website soon.

With retailers moving up the Christmas shopping season in an attempt to lure some customers and competition heating up in US wireless, it's our guess that the Storm 'could' be available in some locations as early as tomorrow.

For those who are a little more 'frugal', other Verizon-based Blackberry devices (including the LG env2) are now available FREE in many markets with a two year contract.

Watch this phone to be a very HOT holiday item as word gets out quickly over the next few days.

Update 1:  Verizon just updated the Storm webpage confirming the specs above and the NYC phone hunt here.

Update 2: Verizon issued a press release early yesterday providing more details about the Blackberry Storm and Global capabilities which can be found below:

"New BlackBerry Storm - Available Exclusively in the U.S. to Verizon Wireless Customers - Makes Globetrotting a Breeze

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether traveling to Europe for an international conference or to Asia for a business meeting, the BlackBerry Storm from Verizon Wireless will give globetrotters the freedom of reliable global connectivity in a single, stylish handset. With the launch of the BlackBerry Storm, customers can use the world's first "clickable" touch-screen BlackBerry smartphone to connect to their offices and homes in more than 200 destinations for voice and more than 150 destinations for data worldwide. The BlackBerry Storm allows for roaming in South America and Japan and also provides 3G data speeds on select international networks, giving customers high-speed connectivity when they are abroad.

The Storm comes pre-installed with a SIM card, so customers who plan to travel abroad can activate global service at the time of purchase or by calling Verizon Wireless prior to leaving the U.S. For those who travel abroad frequently, the company's Global Value Plan offers discounted roaming charges on calls made to and from 130 countries for just $4.99 a month.

Verizon Wireless customers traveling for business or pleasure in both the U.S. and abroad can use GlobalEmail on their BlackBerry Storms to access corporate e-mail attachments as well as personal or POP3 e-mail accounts. Verizon Wireless' unlimited GlobalEmail Plan offers one flat-rate data pricing and covers Web browsing, picture messaging and Visual Voice Mail in the U.S. as well as overseas. Verizon Wireless' GlobalEmail Data Plans are available for $69.99 monthly access for a stand-alone data plan and $64.99 monthly access when added to any voice plan.

Business customers with five or more lines of service will be able to purchase a GlobalEmail Plan for their BlackBerry Storms by calling their Business Sales Representatives at 1-800-899-4249.

To learn more or register to be notified when the BlackBerry Storm is available, visit or For more information on Verizon Wireless' international services, please visit"