It was no secret that the BlackBerry Storm was coming to Verizon, but now it is official as both Verizon Wireless and Vodafone announced the device with RIM tonight. The BlackBerry Storm is the first touch screen BlackBerry device and one of the first I have ever heard of that has a display with real feedback.
The press release states that the screen actually depresses slightly when pressed and the user feels this with a gentle "click" when released. This type of positive touch screen should give the end user a better touch experience and I can't wait to try it out. The Storm also adds support for multi-touch, taps, slides and other gestures. Like the iPhone, the Storm has an integrated accelerometer so you can switch from portrait to landscape with either the SureType (portrait) or full QWERTY (landscape) keyboard appearing.
Other specs for the BlackBerry Storm include support for Verizon's 3G network, 3.2 megapixel camera, integrated GPS receiver, integrated Documents To Go software for full Office document functionality, 1GB of onboard memory with a microSD slot, 3.5mm headset jack, Bluetooth radio with A2DP support, 480x360 display, and 1400 mAh removable rechargeable battery. It does not have a WiFI radio, but with Verizon's extensive 3G network you should be covered quite well for wireless data access.
The device is definitely a shot across the bow of the iPhone and shows that enterprise users can continue to use a RIM BlackBerry device and still experience the latest and greatest in touch screen technology and functionality. Check out Phone Scoop's hands-on look at the BlackBerry Storm. The BlackBerry Storm will be available later this fall for an undisclosed price.