BlackBerry Storm goes on sale from Verizon on Nov. 21

$200 price is $100 less than the Bold from AT&T

Verizon Wireless Inc. today said the BlackBerry Storm smart phone will go on sale Nov. 21 for $200, after a $50 mail-in rebate.

The device, from Research In Motion Ltd., will be sold exclusively in the U.S. by Verizon Wireless at its stores and online. A new two-year customer agreement for voice and data will be required, Verizon officials said in a statement.

Verizon Wireless recently began a nationwide television ad campaign for the device, which features a touch-screen design with a QWERTY keyboard that provides tactile feedback, but the availablity date wasn't included in the ads.

RIM, BlackBerry, Storm, iPhone, Apple, touch-screen
See more of the BlackBerry Storm. Plus: Video, below.

In October, the carrier said the Storm was generating interest from large businesses intrigued by the large touch screen, as well as from a wider consumer audience.

Business IT managers and analysts also said BlackBerry's strong presence in enterprise settings, because of RIM's network security, was attractive. With the Storm, businesses could give users a fashionable touch-screen device on a secure network, which isn't available with the similar touch screen of Apple Inc.'s iPhone, they said.

Also in October, Verizon Wireless released a video showing how a SIM card can be used by business travelers on the Vodafone Group PLC network outside of the Verizon Wireless CDMA network in the U.S.

The BlackBerry Storm's code name was Thunder.

Recently, AT&T Inc. released the BlackBerry Bold exclusively in the U.S. It features a keyboard, not a touch-screen version, and sells for $300, after a $100 rebate.

The sales date of the Storm was a point of speculation for some reviewers and analysts, since Verizon Wireless would clearly want to make the device available early enough for holiday shoppers, but not until the technology was fully ready. Fofllowing demonstrations of the device at the BlackBerry Developer Conference in October, blogger Al Sacco said the device was running an operating system that was not the official version and was somewhat buggy.

BlackBerry Storm has the first "clickable" screen, says maker RIM.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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