Facing stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone, Verizon Wireless is fighting back with a vengeance. Verizon has declared that Blackberry Storm, the first-of-its-kind touchscreen smartphone by Research In Motion (RIM) will be available solely to Verizon Wireless customers in the U.S. and to Vodafone customers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Up to now, Verizon has been dominating the U.S. wireless industry. But since when Dallas-based AT and T became Apple iPhone’s exclusive carrier in the U.S., Verizon Wireless has been shaken up.
Verizon Wireless is also planning to open an online bazaar. Through this bazaar, the customers will be able to download a host of games, tools and other applications for use on the Storm.
Software developers will also be able to build applications using the toolkit that will be launched by the company on October 9.
Verizon Wireless Chief Marketing Officer Dave Lanman said, “Our goal was to bring one device to the marketplace under the flags of two companies.”
According to a report released by the research firm NDP Group, 47% people switched from Verizon Wireless to join AT and T in August. But it is still unclear as to how accurate these figures are.
Meanwhile, Storm has been garnering good reviews. It has a tactile onscreen keyboard which makes typing easier as compared to the iPhone. But the web browsing capability does not match up to the level of iPhone’s Web browser.
Verizon Wireless is hoping that Storm will help them regain their lost customers. Matt Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities said, “The only caveat is if they cut the iPhone’s price again.”
Experts are predicting that Storm will be charged at around $200. The condition being that the customer needs to sign up for a one or two year contract.
Whether Storm leaves an impact can only be gauged after the reports come out in January.