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Pre-order the BlackBerry Storm2 from Vodafone

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preorder_Storm2

The BlackBerry Storm2 is available for pre-order from Vodafone and it’s free with a new service plan. The service plan is reasonable and the fact that these devices are being offered for free is a huge step in device pricing.

The Storm2 pricing seems to be indicative of a much more competitive pricing model which could be traced to some improvements in the manufacturing process. Since RIM and carriers have much more freedom in pricing, we could see some great sales figures from this device. The original Storm retailed for a couple hundred dollars after a rebate, therefore this device is relatively cheap.

On a less positive note, it’s clear that the new way of naming the Storm as the Storm2 is confusing a lot of people. For example, the Vodafone website lists the device as the Storm2, but the title of the page is “BlackBerry Storm 2.” While I appreciate the marketing efforts to give the Storm a cool name, it’s not exactly the most practical marketing effort.

If you pre-order the Storm2 today, Vodafone says it will aim to deliver from October 26th.

BlackBerry Storm 2 aka Odin launch details roundup

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Verizon Storm 2 - 9550

We have heard all manner of launch dates for the Storm 2 9520 and the Storm 2 9550 (or should I call it the Storm2?).

For Verizon, we are seeing the BlackBerry Storm 9550 rumored to launch October 21st. This rumor comes from an internal Verizon email that was leaked showing a launch date for the Storm 2 to be October 21st.

There is also some evidence pointing towards a Storm2 launch for October 28th. This is loosely based on some Verizon BOGO material that was leaked. At the very least, we know that when the device launches, the carrier is pushing a very intense sales campaign with it. On a side note, does anyone else think writing Storm2 vs Storm 2 looks a little silly? It could easily be mistaken for a typo.

The Vodafone Storm 2 9520 seems to be launching about the same time as Verizon. While we haven’t seen many internal leaks on the subject, we are seeing a lot of promo materials going up in preparation.

Overall, these things tend to get delayed for any number of reasons and I would be really surprised if the carrier, being a giant cumbersome organization where the left hand doesn’t talk to the right hand, could actually peg a date and stick to it.

The 21st is a reasonable date, but could easily be pushed back closer to the end of the month.

Ciao! The BlackBerry Curve 8520 lands in Italy

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blackberry-8520

Vodafone Italia and RIM have announced the BlackBerry Curve 8520 in Italy. Starting September 3rd, the device is available and costs €249 with no contract from Vodafone outlets and from Vodafone’s online shop.

At Wal-Mart, this device costs $399.99 without a contract, but with a contract, you get it for $49.99.

It’s pretty incredible how much money is knocked off the initial price given a contract. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would go out and purchase a device these days without getting a contract.

Are you in Europe? Here are a couple questions for you:

1) Do you regularly buy a device with no contract?
2) What do you think of the price for the 8520?
3) On average, how much do you spend per month on your phone bill?

BlackBerry Storm 2 to launch this fall as per original Storm

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The BlackBerry Storm 2 is rumored to launch around the same time as the original BlackBerry Storm (launched late November, 2008). While we haven’t heard anything official, BlackBerry Zone is saying that Vodafone UK is set to release the Storm 2 in October with Verizon following soon after in November.

While this is just rumor, it makes sense for a few reasons:

  • The BlackBerry Storm launched around this time last year.
  • It fits with the other devices set to launch, Curve 8520 in the summer, followed by the Onyx and then the Storm 2.
  • We’re approaching the Back-to-School and Christmas consumer blitzes, so RIM will be pushing as many devices as possible.

The original BlackBerry Storm had a lot of bad press from the Internet, even though it had an incredibly low return rate. This suggests that it was the blogosphere giving it bad search engine mojo while many happy customers simply didn’t voice their opinion. RIM will be working really hard to make sure that the Storm 2 is the device that everyone expects. So while the rumor may be true, it could easily be pushed back last minute if RIM isn’t fully satisfied with the device.

[Via with hat tip]

Australia gets EDGE and Telstra Blue Tick for the BlackBerry Bold

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Vodafone EDGE

There’s some good news for the folks in Australia. Firstly, it seems that Vodafone Australia have finally upgraded their GPRS network to EDGE. Although EDGE isn’t necessarily blazing fast, it’s a huge improvement and Vodafone customers.

Another piece of good news for Australian BlackBerry users is that Telstra have announced that the BlackBerry Bold has been accredited with Telstra’s Blue Tick, which recommends devices for handheld use in metro, rural and regional areas. Users can upgrade their existing Bold devices, while new users will get Tick-ready devices out of the box.

[Special thanks goes to Brendan for the tip]

GPS BlackBerry previously banned in Egypt and now available

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egyptian_security_guards

A week ago, the BlackBerry Storm, Curve 8900 and the Bold launched in Egypt via Vodafone Egypt. The move was significant because previously, GPS-enabled BlackBerry devices were banned in Egypt.

Until April 2009, the Egyptian Telecoms Law 10/2003 outlawed the import of GPS-equipped mobile phones, and retailers found selling them could have their entire stock confiscated. The same applied to any kind of commercial use of GPS technology, which included cars equipped with GPS devices.

The ban on GPS-enabled devices upset many Egyptians who felt the military was using security concerns of GPS aided terrorism to justify cutting consumers off from the latest technology. The ban on GPS-enabled devices affected trade locally, as well as on an international scale.

Now that the ban has been lifted, Vodafone and RIM have began exporting devices.

Special thanks to Fisal for the tip!