Mobile World Congress: Did the mainstream media notice?

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It’s a dark day for Storms

storm_voda_enguk_3g_top_angle

The Wall Street Journal has just run a piece on the failings of the BlackBerry Storm and problems that plagued it soon after its launch in the States, some of which were clearly mirrored elsewhere in the world *cough*

It’s an interesting read, which contains items that even our deft investigation did not uncover to our shocking surprise.

They started with the startling fact, Verizon and RIM spent two years in the development of that mobile in a retaliation to the Apple’s iPhone. We were told both Vodafone and Verizon has approached a number of handset manufactures to create a rich multimedia phone for their networks, where RIM won the tender in the end. Also, that the particular design of the phone is a lifetime exclusive to them both, meaning we won’t or shouldn’t be seeing a similar device elsewhere anytime soon.

WSJ also when on to note – “Some early buyers have complained about technical bugs with RIM’s first touch screen BlackBerry, although others say most new gadgets have problems that need to be ironed out.”. We’re assuming the bugs that were ironed out were resolved by the firmware updates, which there really has only been one of late. If current reports are to be believed there is another one on its way. At the tail end of last week, rumours started to pick up momentum of a leaked firmware being seen in the wild.

They went on to list some of the woes that surrounded the phone, and a few of which we found in our detailed review we’re prepping right now. Mentioned was the ‘clunky software for typing’ and ‘device’s sluggish performance’, one of which we found to have cleared up nicely with the aforementioned latest firmware.

Apparently Verizon and RIM were originally aiming for an October launch, but missed that target date which would have inevitably forced the hand of Vodafone’s shipping date in the UK. We weren’t made aware at that time of this early date, which the Wall Street Journal seemed to of obtained from interviewing RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie.

From the interview, another fact came to light that we overlooked at the time of the phones release surrounding its fortuitous arrival date. The man from RIM said they just made Black Friday deadline “by the skin of their teeth”. If you weren’t already aware, this is the day after Thanksgiving in the USA where a great great deal of the Christmas shopping revenue is made on just one single day.

The US carrier also reported they sold half a million units within the first month of launch, a figure that wasn’t really shouted about over in good auld blighty and for obvious reasons too. As the press coverage it was given wasn’t all that complimentary from the get go. Plus there’s always the issue of advertorials being around rather than straight up hard hitting journalism, where the overall message is then somewhat tainted.

Verizon’s fourth-quarter results are due out anytime soon, this will be a solid indication of exactly how well the Strom really did for them. Or if this was just another pipe dream that a company could really take on Apple and produce an iPhone killer. With the economy being what it is at present we hope all the pundits will take that into account when they start to write the news up.

Read more on the piece here

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