Posts Tagged ‘9500’
Update: Best Buy is taking pre-orders in the stores starting today. You have to go the store, they will not take it online. Though, be warned that neither the launch date nor the price have been announced yet.
A few days back, Verizon Wireless launched its scavenger hunt in New York for the Blackberry Launch. As part of the official rules of the contest, it has hinted at the possible pricing of Blackberry Storm. According to the fine print, the approximate retail value of a Blackberry Storm 9500 along with a $50 gift card is $549. In other words, the Storm costs $499. If that is the case, then I would expect the phone will cost less with 2-year contract, maybe even $100-$199.
In another news, Best Buy is reportedly taking pre-orders for the Blackberry Storm starting tomorrow with $50 deposit. According to Engadget Mobile, this has been confirmed in only one store. No official release has been put out yet.
Batten down the hatches, folks! Storm is on its way…at least in UK it is. Vodafone is gearing up to launch the Blackberry Storm in UK on November 7th. As I mentioned last week, they have already announced their pricing tiers which I think Verizon aught to copy, but will not. It has already got 70,000 pre-orders for the phone and is telling cutomers who purchase it online that the phones will arrive at their home by November 11.
Across the pond, in US, Verizon has updated its Storm site and is launching a scavenger hunt contest beginning November 6th and will run through November 15th for NYC residents. This means the phone is likely to launch on November 16th.
Some time back, I had reported on the Verizon’s pricing of the Blackberry Storm. Today, Crackberry.com, got hold of Vodafone’s pricing. It is a tiered pricing with either higher upfront cost and lower monthly payments or lower upfront cost and higher monthly payments. Three of these plans have additional freebies too. Take a look:
- Under the Perfect Choice Access 100 plan, the Storm handset will retail for €109.99 and will cost €49.99 a month as part of a bundle that will include 100 minutes, 100 texts, 1GB of BlackBerry email, mobile TV and 10 full-track music downloads.
- Under the Perfect Choice Access 200 plan, the Storm handset will retail for €64.99 and will cost €64.99 a month as part of a bundle that will include 200 minutes, 200 texts, 1GB of BlackBerry email, mobile TV and 10 full-track music downloads.
- Under the Perfect Choice Access 400 plan, the Storm handset will retail for €69.99 and will cost €84.99 a month as part of a bundle that will include 400 minutes, 400 texts, 1GB of BlackBerry email, mobile TV and 10 full-track music downloads.
- And under the Perfect Choice Access 600 plan, the Storm handset will retail for €49.99 and will cost €99.99 a month as part of a bundle that will include 600 minutes, 600 texts, 1GB of BlackBerry email, mobile TV and 10 full-track music downloads.
Now, I say, this is a sensible pricing strategy. It gives the customer the flexibility to decide which plan suits their needs and also the device does not cost an arm and a leg, unlike the Verizon pricing of between $300 -$400 with 2-year contract. Also, Vodafone’s contract is for 18 months. Clearly, Vodafone sees that there is competition in the market and the economic times are going to put downward pressure on sales. I predict Vodafone will see robust demand with this pricing plan.
Yesterday, I visited the local Verizon Wireless store. While talking to the salesperson about the Blackberry Storm, he indicated that the phone will be available by mid-November, possibly as late as Black Friday. That is understandable. However, given the delays with Blackberry Bold, one has to wonder whether RIM will ever get its act together and launch the Storm on time. Of course, they have been careful with not committing any specific dates for the launch but rumors have been for early November launch and Best Buy is preparing to launch it November 16.
The other piece of information was the pricing. According to the salesperson, the phone would cost somewhere between $300 and $400 with 2 year contract and contract free it is somewhere around $750. If this is accurate, I have only one thing to say to both RIM and Verizon Wireless: What are you thinking?
With iPhone starting at $199 with contract and the HTC Dream G1 slated to cost between $150 and $250, why would anyone shell out $300 or more for the Blackberry Storm, especially when its features are on par with some of these phone and way below the phones like the Nokia N96 or Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X1 which fall in the $700+ price range. It is even more insane when Vodafone, Verizon Wireless’ parent is giving it away for free with 18 month contract.
Given this economy, pricing it high is a sure recipe for lower sales. No wonder than that Microsoft is lurking and playing a waiting game. Lets hope some saner minds prevail and the pricing is more competitive!
Over the weekend, there was a frenzy of Blackberry Storm/Thunder related posts over at Boy Genius Report including user guide and copy and paste feature overview. However, the best post was the detailed internal positioning document that BGR managed to get its hands on. Amongst the gems that document included were the upcoming Blackberry Apex and the types of consumers attracted to the Blackberrys. Another gem was the comparision between the Storm and various competitors like iPhone, Viewty, N85, etc. which you can see below.
Also from the price perspective, the Blackberry Storm/Thunder will be its second priciest device and is sqaurely targeted towards prosumers.
Great Job, BGR!
Here are some more photos of the Blackberry Thunder, courtesy of BlackberrySync. The camera does take very sharp pictures and the music player looks very easy to use yet capable.
Empty out your piggybanks and get ready for the Thunder, aka, Blackberry 9500. Boy Genius is reporting that RIM and Verizon are getting ready for a big marketing push in September for a mid-October launch of the said Blackberry. At the same time, the Blackberry Bold is being delayed to September. No word on pricing yet though.