Verizon Wireless to Launch BlackBerry Storm Next Week

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The BlackBerry Storm will go on sale November 21 for $250 ($200 after a $50 mail-in rebate).
Verizon Wireless will start selling the BlackBerry Storm, Research in Motion's eagerly anticipated touch-based iPhone 3G alternative, on November 21 for $250 with a new two-year contract.

A $50 mail-in rebate will bring the customer's outlay down to $200, on a par with the cost of Apple's popular handset (which is exclusive to AT&T Wireless).

Research in Motion announced the BlackBerry Storm in October, saying the phone would be available from Verizon Wireless before the holidays. Verizon announced the pricing and on-sale date today. For more, see the Storm page on Verizon's Web site.

The Storm will support Verizon's high-speed EvDO rev. A network in the United States, but will support roaming on high-speed GSM networks overseas. It will also feature Bluetooth and support for both assisted and standard GPS (the former requires cellular network connectivity, the latter does not). Like the iPhone, it has an accelerometer so you can use it in either portrait or landscape mode (shown below) for most functions; when making calls, it works only in portrait mode.

BlackBerry Storm horizontal view

The device's most unusual feature, however, is its Click-Through technology. As with the iPhone, you can use your fingertip to scroll and make selections on the large, touch-sensitive screen. But to initiate actions or confirm selections, you physically depress the entire screen, as if it were one big mechanical mouse button.

We've yet to get our hands on a review unit. Verizon Wireless says that when it does make them available, it will be on condition that reviews not appear until the day before the device goes on sale.

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