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Will There Be Enough BlackBerry Storms Tomorrow?

Andrew R. Hickey
set to hit stores tomorrow

Popular gadget blog the Boy Genius Report, working on tips from insiders, said some last minute flaws with the device may cause a reduction in the number of devices that actually make it to stores and into users' hands.

The tipsters said a security flaw was found in the operating system and the devices had to be re-flashed, delaying shipments to stores and possibly resulting in a shortage of devices.

According to the report, one Verizon store that was promised 100 BlackBerry Storms for tomorrow's long-awaited launch will only get 20 devices today, 40 for Friday, 40 for Saturday and so on. Additionally, the stock is being staggered instead of being sent in large quantities.

Stores, however, will certainly have the device in stock, however, the last minute delay means stores won't have nearly as many as originally thought.

Along with Verizon Wireless stores receiving a thinner supply, insiders told Boy Genius that other retailers, like Best Buy, will get second priority, meaning if supplies run too thin they might not get the handheld at all, despite offering a pre-order for the device earlier this month.

The BlackBerry Storm is RIM's long-awaited rival to other touch-screen titans that have recently cornered the smart phone market, including the Apple iPhone 3G and the Google Android-based T-Mobile G1. The Storm is being billed as a true iPhone killer.

The Storm's release follows a handful of successful smart phone launches from BlackBerry in recent months. Other recent hot devices from BlackBerry include the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, the BlackBerry Bold 9000 and the soon-to-be-released BlackBerry Curve 8900, also known as the BlackBerry Javelin, which is expected to be in stores before the holidays.

The Storm has generated more excitement than any device in BlackBerry's 10-year history. The Storm, which operates on Verizon's 3G network, ties in all of BlackBerry's e-mail, calendaring, messaging and mobile Web capabilities, along with a host of multimedia capabilities like GPS, video, music and more. It also features a 3.2-megapixel camera with zoom, flash and video-recording capabilities. But the main draw of the Storm is its "clickable" touch-screen that makes an audible clicking sound and depresses slightly as users type on the touch-sensitive display.

The Storm, which is exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the U.S., is expected to be in stores tomorrow, Nov. 21, and will cost $199 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate.

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