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BlackBerry Storm Rushed to Market, Verizon Earnings Impacted

Verizon Wireless is reporting its quarterly earnings on Tuesday, and it’s expected to discuss the impact of the BlackBerry Storm on its business, as the device’s exclusive carrier. It might not be good news.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the carrier and Research In Motion Ltd. rushed the first touchscreen BlackBerry to market for the Christmas shopping season in a frantic rush to get an iPhone killer on the scene. The result? Despite two years of development and a $100 million-plus marketing campaign, the device has suffered from a rash of bugs and a bumpy user experience, even for the basics like making phone calls.

“I found myself wanting to throw it in the ocean due to my frustration with its overall usability,” Steven Golub told the WSJ. Golub is a “longtime Verizon customer” from Morristown, N.J., who returned the Storm despite buying it the day it came out.

Citing sources close to the situation, the WSJ reports that Verizon sold about 500,000 units in the first month after the Storm’s Nov. 21 launch — well behind the iPhone’s impressive sales numbers for the quarter.

Despite bug fixes, the Storm continues to draw the ire of some users. However, RIM’s co-chief executive took pains to point out that any mobile data product is bound to have some glitches thanks to the sheer complexity of today’s devices. The iPhone, let’s remember, is not a stranger to bug fixes.


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