In what many consider to be there most ‘idolized’ consumer product and ‘must-have’, the Apple iPhone has established itself as the leader in the smartphone market. From its stylish design, to its practicality, many competitors have tried to compete, but to no avail. Still, just 24 hours away, we have the newest competitor to the iPhone. The Blackberry Storm.
Some have already begun calling it the iPhone Killer. With its well established reputation of being a leader in personal organization and networking, RIM (Research in Motion) is about to challenge the Apple iPhone head on. The Storm is scheduled to hit stores November 21st and has consumers on the edge of there wallets ready to shell out for what some analyst’s say will be the holiday’s biggest hit. The question though is not whether or not the Storm will sell well, but if it can possibly match up to the already dominating Apple iPhone.
What’s to Come
Upon closer review of the Blackberry Storm, RIM has gone far and beyond the normal ‘standards’ of smartphone’s today. The most anticipated feature is the innovative “SurePress” feature. Not only is it the first Blackberry touchscreen in the world, but users can actually feel the keys being pressed when they are texting or dialing a number. RIM feels that this will revolutionize the smartphone market in that users have long complained that it is hard to use touchscreens because the keys are unresponsive or hard to use.
Aside from the SurePress technology, the Storm advertises its use as a social tool. Citing sites such as Facebook and Flickr as being part of the networking capabilities, Blackberry is clearly trying to establish the Storm as a multi-task tool. The storm also has turn by turn navigation, email capabilities, a full HTML browser as well as 3.2 megapixel camera that can take photos and record.
Can you afford it?
With the features to compete with the Apple iPhone, RIM has priced the Storm at almost the same price of the iPhone at $199.99 (with 2 year contract and $50.00 rebate). This competitive price will challenge the iPhone during this holiday season in making the consumer think twice on what to buy.
While the Blackberry has yet to hit stores here in the US, the Blackberry has already been released in Europe and is already a big hit. This is partly due to the fact that Vodafone has been giving them away for free with a phone contract. If only they could that here.
I myself have been anticipating the release of the Storm and am looking forward to trying it out. With the strategy that Blackberry has taken into marketing the new Storm, it is hard to see how this product can fail. Taking into account the innovative features, the reasonable pricing, and Blackberry’s reputation for its strong network and email capabilities, the Storm may not only ‘beat’ the iPhone in sales, it may just steal the market away from them.