Where is the Verizon BlackBerry Storm 2 Announcement?

By Kevin Michaluk on 17 Oct 2009 03:23 pm EDT
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Where's Verizon's BlackBerry Storm2 Announcement?

Since the BlackBerry Storm2 made is grand debut early Thursday morning via a handful of embargoed reviews, its appearance on BlackBerry.com and a joint RIM/Vodafone Press Release, I can't click into the forums, read a blog post comment or check my inbox or twitter without seeing the question Where's Verizon's BlackBerry Storm2 Announcement? I don't have an 'official answer' to this nagging question, but between logical reasoning, a bit of tipped info and putting the pieces together I do think we have a pretty clear picture of what's going on here...

First off, we heard from a couple sources now that as of last Friday (not yesterday, but rather October 9th), that the BlackBerry Storm2 had not yet cleared Verizon's TA (technical acceptance) process. As we've come to learn from the past year of waiting for Storm OS updates, it's typically on Fridays when Verizon gives RIM either the thumbs up or thumbs down on the latest OS build they submitted the week previous.

Looking back at how the Storm2 launch has unfolded so far, it's pretty obvious that in advance of October 9th, the original plan was for the BlackBerry Storm2 to get announced by all parties (RIM/Vodafone/Verizon) on the 15th. Following Verizon not TA'ing the Storm2 on the 9th, however, Big Red decided to change the game plan, taking the stance that they won't announce the device until it passes their technical acceptance. After the botched original BlackBerry Storm launch, why take the chance right?

Two observations back up the theory:

1. Verizon never fired off a press release Thursday morning like Vodafone did, nor have they announced the device since. Not a difficult observation to make.

2. Where were the rest of the BlackBerry Storm2 reviews? To be dead honest, when I received my review unit on Wednesday the 14th in the early afternoon, I was a bit unhappy at how little time I would have to use and review the unit, considering the embargo was to lift less than 12 hours later (plus I've been sick all week and was in no mood to rush-write a review). But when 12:01am hit, I was surprised and confused to not see similar reviews pop-up on some of my other favorite tech sites like Engadget, Gizmodo or Boy Genius Report. Afterall, in the past when I have received a review unit under embargo, typically these publications and many others have received review units as well, which I fully expected that to be the case here too. Once RIM puts a device up on their website, they want everybody talking about it. So I went from being unhappy about a rushed deadline, to realizing I was one of the lucky few to get a BlackBerry Storm2 early. Last year we were on the other side of the fence though when on October 8th the first hands-on reviews of the original BlackBerry Storm surfaced and we didn't have one yet to touch.

When it comes to review units, it's my impression that typically it's not just the manufacturer that decides who's getting a review unit, but also, and more importantly maybe, the carrier. Afterall, while the manufacturer provides the hardware it is the carrier that is supplying the voice line and data plan on the review unit, and ultimately that's who is selling the phone and thus have say in the matter (you buy your device from the carrier, not the manufacturer). From past personal experience, it can also be the carrier that lets you know when your review unit trial period is ending or if your data consumption seems a bit excessive (my bad - we don't officially get Slacker in Canada yet so just had to try it for a few days while roaming from a US carrier!).

Back to the question at hand, my theory is that once Verizon denied the Storm2 of technical acceptance on the 9th, they decided to cut back on the number of review units to be sent out from what RIM/Verizon would have normally planned. But with RIM and Vodafone still making their announcements on the 15th, Verizon had to get at least a few units out there, even if last minute, just so it wouldn't be only Vodafone BlackBerry Storm2 9520 reviews popping up. As I made note in our BlackBerry Storm2 Review, I was told that the firmware on the Storm2 9520 wasn't the final build that would ship on the device (again, further collobarating what I heard from other sources about the S2 not passing TA the Friday before).

I haven't heard yet from any sources whether the Storm2 cleared Verizon's technical acceptance yesterday (Oct. 16), but am guessing that once it does a whole bunch more Verizon BlackBerry Storm2 review units will be shipped and reviews will be plentiful as they should be. I don't have a reason for why CrackBerry.com was in the group of the chosen few for the early review while other deserving sites may have been left out, but obviously am very grateful so we could deliver an official Storm 2 review to our readers. Had we not received a review unit, I'm not even sure in a situation like this who you'd lay the blame on. If my assumptions above are right, reaching out to RIM likely wouldn't get anywhere as they wouldn't comment if it was Verizon holding up the show, and reaching out to Verizon probably would lead to finger pointing at RIM since they're holding up the show by not yet providing a device that passed technical acceptance.

In retrospect, it was probably intended for this whole event to play out a lot smoother. Either Verizon could have just announced the device on the 15th without technical acceptance yet (and sent out review units to everybody and just made sure to note that the firmware wasn't final; final firmware or not the device is a huge improvement over the original BlackBerry Storm), or after Verizon didn't grant the Storm2 technical acceptance on the 9th, all parties could have just postponed the Storm2 announcement for a week or two. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a guy who loves (like really loves) his BlackBerry(s) and forgets to proofread his blog posts half the time while these are billions of dollars corporations doing their thing.

At this point, I think Verizon just needs to announce the BlackBerry Storm2 already. We all know it exists and is coming to Verizon, right? I'd appreciate it. Though I do love getting emails and tweets and reading forum posts and blog post comments, I'm tired of reading the same question constantly.

Oh, and one last note for those jonesing to buy a Storm2 the day it comes out. We've been seeing a ton of info that keeps pointing to an Oct. 21st release date, but keep in mind that it usually takes a couple weeks after a device passes technical acceptance before it's available in a store for purchase (flashing a few hundred thousand + devices with final firmware takes some time and effort). Regardless, I'll keep my fingers crossed that it goes on sale soon. But really, I'd be happy with just an announcement already!

Topics: Editorial

38 comments

chuckthepilot

Good write up. Thank you.

rudybikerpunk

This reminds me of the sony PS3 commercial LOL

PortareAF

Been with Big Red for 10+ years, the things they do (or lack there of) bewilder me.

Shifty_P

When is Verizon releasing the Storm2? ;)

SanguinX

Even if Verizon comes out and says something like we hope to have the device ready for the first part of November or you can pre-order starting next week, I have no problem waiting for a stable device.

VERIZON PLEASE JUST SAY SOMETHING - OTHERWISE YOU FACE THE RISK OF LOOKING LIKE FOOLS !!!!

I love my S1 and I have put up with a lot as we all have, the updates have been good and I am happy with the first device a year later.

I also respect that a company the size of big red wanting to wait to release the unit until its ready for us non geeks. It would be awesome to the the full potential of the device at launch instead of being patient ....

mychair

How does VZW look like a fool if they are watching their butts this time around by making RIM do what it should have done in the first place and get the firmware right? Think about how much that S1 Bull$hit cost them last year in terms of wasted tech support, store personnel time, replacement time/money and then just try and figure out why they aren't announcing it or pushing it out before it's exactly what they want. It's way cheaper for them to making RIM get it right.

Last year loads of people in the forums in here blamed the S1 problems on VZW rather than correctly blaming it on RIM. And if you defended VZW people in here said "...true RIM is partly to blame, but ultimately VZW is more at fault because they released it." Because as this article says you ultimately buy the device from the carrier not the manufacturer.

blkceasa74

well i cant wait to see verizon make its announcement

btdown

Who cares about Verizon...when's it dropping on AT&T?

sakgwea

have dropped calls like the iPhone? HA!!!!!!

NinjaRose

...That the Storm 1 contract was extended to the Storm 2 and will be for the next year at least.

vi001101106#CB

Unlike Gizmodo, which went on a whiny rant because they didn't get one saying the device is a piece of shit.

I read Giz daily, but holy shit, that was a childish response if I've ever seen one.

Erkenntnis

Couldn't have said it better myself. That was a load of self-serving BS if I ever saw any. But if you check out recent Daring Fireball posts, you'll recall that this isn't the first time that Brian Lam has tried to do something dramatic to gain attention.

Dagoblin

I agreed with vi001101106!

BeaverPuncher

I'm gonna say no later than the day before thanksgiving but as soon as two weeks that you can get one.

lyquid

This is totally maddening.

Sotampagator

Just a guess here, but since the last two VZ BB rollouts, and particularly the Storm, were not handled very well and we heard that the OS had bugs as recently as 2-3 weeks ago, they probably aren't going to announce the release date until the final OS and phone are approved by Verizon. I don't think they want to be rushed into another Storm 1 fiasco/bomb.

MarcSt

Somebody (hint) leak us a nice, new 5.0 OS for the Storm 1. Then everyone will leave you alone while we all play. Just a thought. :)

champr

All this makes sense. If the software/firmware for the Storm2 are not passing, why would we expect them to pass version 5.0 for release. From everything I have read on here they keep kicking it back for problems. Not wanting to have even more people mad for missing the boat, better to wait and get it right.

Don't understand why they have not anounced it and just saying that it will be released soon instead of an actual date. I have felt all along that it will be out right before Black Friday to start the holiday season sales event.

JMHO

bloveddisciple316

I just called my local Verizon store and asked them when the storm 2 would be available for purchase and the rep said the 21st.

Obviously he could be wrong since he's just a peon in a large corporation but its got me hopeful. :D

detfan

AT&T Played this samegame with the Bold..It is just how they do things now!!

snookiesnoo

Soooo...Crackberry is unaware that the CEO of Verizon has been yapping about the Storm 2 non-stop?

Kevin Michaluk

definitely aware of that. but that's not the same as an "official" press release announcement. the ceo talking about the device doesn't change anything in the above story.

cabarete007

I just got an email from Merchandising saying to "Discard all Blackberry Storm2 Promotional Material." This thing is definately not launching at planned. The Techs internal blog page that used to read "10/21/09" now reads "xx/xx/xx" so that is very telling that VZW does not like what it got from RIM and is not gonna rush this launch one bit.

cg1492#CB

the speech bubble next to the phone is priceless.

Grandpa1947

Could it be the devise is so average that early reviews of it might hurt sales? From the little I've read the only thing new in it is bug fixes, and finally wi-fi like the iDevice.

If there is a problem with it, there is nothing to promote. Why doesn't VZW just relent and get the iPhone?

ellery

I switched from Sprint to AT&T when the Bold came out and waited months because of stupid carrier delays. Now that I'm contemplating moving to the storm, looks like I'm in for more of the same. Yes, I want the phone to work awesomely, but dang! speed this up!

doublestack

It is my opinion that the soon to be launched Motorola Droid has trumped the BB Storm2. A ton of ad dollars have been spent on network TV commercials.

VZW can only handle releasing one "big" device at a time. Droid first then BB Storm2.

thomc

Everyone please CHILL OUT. After viewing thousands of posts over several months, and all the negative press on the Storm/Verizon etc, if you want the new Storm 2 you should be more than happy to wait a few extra days/weeks to have a unit that is RIGHT from the start. Last year it appears it was rushed to market and now they want it to be right first. In thirty days everyone should have it in their hands, so relax.

blackberryhulk

They are not announcing the Storm 2 because they are busy spending time on a much much better phone, the Droid. really why the heck would anyone buy the Buggy, lame UI,poor OS Storm 2 when the Droid will be out at the same time. Who cares about the Storm 2? Verizon doesn't. This should prove also they wont support it when everyone is bitching because it runs worse than the Storm 1.Verizon is putting more in the Droid because they know it will be a much bigger hit that the Storm2..............

elad1

call 1-800-waa-aaaa will ya.....The storm2 will probably not need a big launch because the original already has been there done that. My first Storm worked awesome when it was released last november. Iphone has revised their's three times so what!People still buy them....And i will probably buy the Storm 2 different strokes for different folks!

UltraPerm

I talked to a few of my friends who work for Vzw, they said it was supposed to be out already,but they pushed it back. So sometime this month they told me.

Reddragonjh

Verizon knows that we are all jonesing for the new storm. We are like caught fish to them. So in a sense "hooked". They are going to try and pull a bigger market share from the Iphone crowd by using the droid. In business sense: make damm sure the new storm 2 works great. 2. Pull more people away from the iphone with the Droid/sholes.
Does that make sense, cents?

-jackal-

just so you users know... i've read RIM's release on 10/15. Nothing in there about VZW scheduling a rollout of the Storm2. I hope you guys do know that VZW is a joint venture between VZ Corp & Voda so if the Storm2 was released last week in the EU, the Americas will have it soon too. Besides what difference does it make which phone comes out first... everyone knows the specs of each and will make their decisions accordingly. If you're intent on getting either the Droid or S2, then you'll get either the Droid or S2. Stop crying about WHEN it'll be released and just get it when it does.