Silicon Alley Insider:
It's official: Verizon Wireless will start selling RIM's (RIMM) new touchscreen BlackBerry Storm on Nov. 21. The iPhone-ish smartphone will sell for $199.99 after subsidy and a $50 mail-in rebate, assuming you are eligible and sign a two-year contract.
This is an important launch for both companies, as Apple (AAPL) beat RIM in unit shipments last quarter, and Verizon (VZ) hasn't yet had a credible answer to the iPhone. However, this is hardly an aggressive play. We think Apple still has the upper hand.
We had read rumors that Verizon Wireless was considering selling the Storm for free after subsidy, as its part-owner Vodafone (VOD) is doing abroad. That would definitely give the iPhone a run for its money. But at $199, the Storm is the same price as Apple's 8-gigabyte iPhone, while offering fewer features. (And the obnoxious hassle of a mail-in rebate.)