Details about Verizon's upcoming BlackBerry Storm 9530 launch have leaked to The Boy Genius, and if they pan out it looks like the carrier will have kept its promise to release the touchscreen smartphone by the end of November. Even better, it looks like yesterday's leaked pricing information was still too rich: according to this new source, the Storm will start at $199.99 with a new two-year contract, rather than $219.99.
T3 got their hands on photos of an unboxing of the Vodafone BlackBerry Storm today. They added a nice little note stating that the actual Storm that Vadafone ships will most likely come in a little different packaging. There was an Internal PR event at RIMs headquarters on October 17th, ironically the date on the device matches the date of the event suggesting that the pictures originated at the event.
After the first pricing for the BlackBerry Storm on Vodafone was released this morning, and later shown to be for the expensive Irish market, details on the UK costs of the RIM touchscreen device have now been announced. In keeping with the competitive UK market, the handset will be available on November 11th from free on select price plans, with 12, 18 and 24 month contracts are available. The cheapest monthly tariff is £15 ($24) on an 18-month contract with no included minutes but unlimited SMS; the Storm is priced at £300 ($486). The cheapest monthly contract with a free Storm is £35 (24-months, 600 inclusive minutes & unlimited SMS, mobile internet and email).
Full UK BlackBerry Storm Vodafone price plan details after the cut
The BlackBerry Storm has had its moment of glory in the shape of some pleasantly positive reviews, but while impressing in the hand and on the tech sheet is one thing, doing the same on your monthly statement is quite another. Vodafone have revealed their European pricing for the touchscreen RIM smartphone, and it's certainly not cheap. The lowest of the four monthly plans, Perfect Choice Access 100 at €49.99 ($64), gets you the Storm for €109.99 ($141) but a mere 100 minutes and 100 text messages included, together with just 1GB of BlackBerry email.
Update: Tony points out in the comments that these are the Irish prices, rather than the general European figures. Unfortunately our Irish friends have had to get used to paying far more than the rest of us, which means that a) these prices are a relatively good deal in Ireland, and b) prices in the rest of Europe are likely to be considerably lower.
While the dual CDMA and HSDPA of the Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Storm has caused a few double-takes, it's the unique ClickThrough touchscreen display that has prompted the most column-inches about the smartphone today. ClickThrough takes advantage of the latest capacitive touchscreen technology and a layer of tactile sensors just beneath it; the top layer is used to gesture, scroll and highlight, while pressing down and through to the sensors gives true "click" feeling similar to that of the BlackBerry trackball. The system uses Synaptics' ClearPad, a custom multitouch-capable module first seen on the Onyx concept.
Vodafone and Verizon Wireless announced the BlackBerry Storm in the early hours of this morning, and already the first reviews and hands-on opinions are coming in. As their first touchscreen handset, this is a very important device for RIM; it also puts them, in the consumers' eyes at least, directly in competition with the Apple iPhone. First impressions for the smartphone are reasonably good, with the unique ClickThrough touchscreen getting plenty of attention.
Verizon and Vodafone have officially announced the BlackBerry Storm, RIM's touchscreen smartphone with 3G connectivity and an innovative "click-through" 480 x 360 display with haptic feedback. The Storm has a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash and mechanical autofocus, Bluetooth 2.0 with support for the A2DP wireless stereo profile, and accelerometer controlled screen-rotation with a choice of SureType, MultiTap and QWERTY keyboards.
Vodafone may have lagged a little behind Verizon in the teaser stakes, but they've jumped straight past when it comes to actually announcing the BlackBerry Storm 9500. The carrier has confirmed it will be offering the 3.25-inch, 480 x 360 touchscreen smartphone from messaging experts RIM, complete with a 360-degree viewer and spec list.
More images of the upcoming Verizon BlackBerry Storm have leaked, this time press shots courtesy of the handset's Equipment Guide. Already contentious is the battery panel, which appears to be a different shade; this could be because of the camera flash and the fact that it's likely a metal panel next to a plastic body, or it could be a purposeful choice on RIM's part.