In a valiant effort to compete with the iPhone (and AT&T's cash flow due to their association), Verizon welcomes the Blackberry Storm into its family on Friday. There has been much hype leading up to this release and many reviews are available.
To its fiercest devotees, one of the best things about the previous BlackBerry is its carefully designed physical keyboard. Of course, the skilled BlackBerry addict can play that like a violin. These folks scorn Apple’s popular iPhone, whose keyboard is virtual and must be operated by tapping on the screen. In an effort to appease those loyalists, while attracting iPhone converts, the Storm offers a touch screen pad but one that "clicks". Ideally this provides the compromise of the two goals. This push-down screen also replaces the side-mounted scroll wheel or track ball on other BlackBerrys for activating menu choices and icons. Their success is to be seen.
In most ways the Storm is really just a "suped up" Blackberry. The operating system is pretty much a version 4.7 to their most recent 4.6 and the favorite applications stay strong. With it's large screen and lack of physical keyboard, the visual differences seem huge compared to the previous models. Similar to the iPhone the Storm touch screen switches from portrait to landscape mode when turned.
So keep your eyes open and do your research about purchasing the latest cell phone on the market, err... I mean handset. It's nice to see that their are some options arriving. Whether these non Apple developments will replace some of the iPhone business or just push it farther along will be most interesting.