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Verizon Wireless and its partner Vodafone Group will soon start selling the BlackBerry Storm, a touch screen smartphone, to customers in the U.S., Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand, the companies announced today. While they didn’t announce a specific date and talked about making it available in “fall,” it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the device hits the market really soon. Verizon is getting clobbered by the iPhone, according to some estimates. Vodafone felt so envious that it straight up copied iPhone screenshots and pasted them onto the Storm’s body, indicating that they still don’t have a clue on what iPhone is all about. (Photos below the fold.)
The Verizon Wireless version of the device will work on the Verizon’s EVDO Rev A 3G Network and (2100Mhz) UMTS/HSPA 3G along with older technologies such as GSM, GPRS and EDGE, making it capable of receiving emails and phone calls around the planet. The Vodafone version will have the same features minus the support for CDMA and EVDO networks.
One of the reasons why Blackberry Storm has gained so much attention is because it has a touch screen that actually depresses, giving users the feeling that the screen is being pressed and released with a gentle “click” — just like on a regular keyboard. RIM is betting that this is going to help them stop the Apple iPhone juggernaut which is slowly but surely rolling towards the Canadian device maker.
The new device does indeed have clever features, such as a 3.2-Megapixel camera, a better browser with built-in RSS support and 1 GB of on-board memory. The screen has 480×360 resolution at 184 ppi and the phone itself has battery life that allows approximately six hours of talk time on 3G networks and 15 days of standby time. Of course, once you start using the device, the battery will drain faster than sea water off a schooner’s deck. This seems to be enticing enough to try out — if nothing else then comparing how well it stands up against my iPhone. Why there is a good chance they will offer Mac support.
(*) Launches but is not on sale just yet.