At last, the Storm is on the horizon. (Wow, what are the odds I was the first person to break out that line?)
Verizon just announced that the BlackBerry Storm (aka, the BlackBerry 9530), will be available online and in Verizon Wireless stores beginning Friday, November 21. The price is in line with expectations -- $199, after a $50 mail-in rebate, and of course, the obligatory two-year commitment.
In case you haven't been paying attention, the touchscreen-based Storm is shaping up to be the first serious competitor to the iPhone, which is probably not particularly helpful to RIM. While yes, both are touchscreen devices, but the iPhone's software is what helps set it apart from every other smart phone on the market, and frankly, I'm a bit skeptical that RIM will be able to pull off that kind of sophistication. And unfortunately, the Storm also lacks the WiFi connectivity found on both the iPhone 3G and BlackBerry Bold.
That said, the Storm does have the potential to one-up the iPhone in one key area. The Storm's touchscreen actually clicks in when pressed, giving users a physical confirmation that they've actually touched a key or menu item. Whether this works as advertised remains to be seen.
We look forward to getting our hands on a Storm soon, and will post about it as soon as we're allowed to (ah, the joys of nondisclosure agreements).