Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Secret Storm

Today Verizon reported quarterly earnings, but wouldn’t say how many units it’s sold of the BlackBerry Storm. Despite high hopes, the supposed iPhone-killer has been plagued by scathing reviews, mainly due to buggy software.

In an article this morning entitled “BlackBerry Storm Is Off To Bit of a Bumpy Start,” WSJ reported rumors that Verizon sold 500,000 Storms the first month — leading up to Christmas — and the RIM CEO’s claim that RIM is making 250,000/week. No one else has confirmed these numbers, and it is not clear how many of these phones are being sold outside the US.

These numbers are a bit contradictory – we don’t know how much is the initial sales spurt vs. how much is sustainable. A sustained level of 1 million units/month for the Storm would be great figure, something that Verizon should be bragging about. By comparison, AT&T sold 2.5 million iPhone 3G units in its first three months.

Even if its latest phone has disappointed – either in terms of technology or market performance — RIM has some breathing room, since it is the smartphone market share leader in the US on the strength of unmatched enterprise integration and a broad range of phones across the Big Four carriers.

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