Verizon sets date and pricing for Blackberry Storm

US Blackberry fans will have to fork out nearly $200 for their Storm on Verizon, while UK Vodafone customers will get phone for free on contract.

Blackberry Bold

US customers after the Blackberry Storm will have to pay $199.99 (133), even on a two year Verizon contract, and only after a $50 rebate.

However, this compares well to Apple's iPhone 3G8GB, which costs $199 on AT&T and 99 on O2 in the UK. Pricing for the highly anticipated device, which goes on sale online and in Verizon stores on 21 November, has been the source of much speculation after Vodafone said 31 October that it would give the Storm free to UK customers who sign a 35 per month contract.

US carriers in particular often shoulder a big part of the price of cell phones in exchange for getting customers to commit to a two-year service contract but analysts have worried about the effect a hefty subsidy on the Storm would have on Verizon Wireless's profit margins.

AT&T, the exclusive US provider for iPhone, has already shown that its subsidy for the latest iPhone has hurt its profits in the recent quarter.

Verizon Wireless and Vodafone have exclusive agreements to offer Storm with Research in Motion, whose BlackBerry devices are a big hit with business users who e-mail on the go.

The popularity of the iPhone, first launched in mid-2007, has also inspired rivals including Nokia, the world's biggest cell phone maker, Taiwan's HTC and South Korea's LG Electronics and Samsung to develop their own touch-screen phones.

But unlike other touch screen devices, the Storm's screen indents slightly when it is pressed, a feature designed to attract users who have been hesitant to move away from phones with physical keypads for fear of having difficulty typing.

Our sister title Know Your Mobile joined us for the preview and has created a first look video to show you what all the fuss is about.

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