You heard it here first: The Verizon BlackBerry Storm is the all-time greatest/worst, most sold/most returned, happiest/saddest, awesomest/lamest phone ever. Of all time. It's true.
Confused yet? We're just getting started ... According to AppleInsider, RIM claimed on a conference call that Storm is now Verizon's best-selling device. I'd wager to guess that Storm sales, then, accounted for a decent chunk of RIM's "record" Q3 of this year, during which the company sold 6.7 million smartphones. RIM claimed $2.8 Billion in revenue for the period between September and November of 2008, which is up a whopping 66.3% versus Q3 of last year. That's a big-time leap - and it's worth remembering that RIM also launched the Bold on AT&T and the Pearl Flip on T-Mobile this Fall. So it's not like Storm accounted for ALL of RIM's sales.
What's peculiar is that RIM's 6.7 million units sold more or
less matches the 6.9 million iPhone 3Gs Apple sold during its launch
quarter. That's pretty much meaningless, but fun to note, anyway.
What's NOT meaningless are the mounting - but perhaps inaccurate - reports that a pretty big chunk of those new Storm owners have been dissatisfied enough to return the devices to Verizon. While bad reviews (including one from yours truly) and angry Twitter posts have been giving Storm a bad name in some quarters, it seems that mobile blogger Boy Genius may have exaggerated in reporting that some 40 to 50 percent of Storms were being returned to VZW.
After BGR's post, a Verizon rep responded by telling Boy Genius ,?The Storm has the lowest return rate of any of our PDAs and at this
point in its life cycle, it has the lowest return rate of any PDA we
currently sell." Then Silicon Alley Insider posted some stats from a RBC/ChangeWave survey that go like this:
Regarding Potential Returns. 2% of respondents are
Very Likely and 7% Somewhat Likely to return the Storm ? not an
alarming result, but higher than typical (est. 1-2%) returns. Reasons
for returning: battery life (21%), touchscreen (20%), difficult to use
Now, this survey does indicate a higher than typical return rate, but 2% (Very Likely) + 7% (Somewhat) = 9%, which is way the heck lower than the 40-50% that BGR got all up in arms about. Honestly, who knows what the truth is and/or what's motivating BGR, AlleyInsider, RBC/ChangeWave, and me to keep reporting on this nonsense. What matters is this: If you like the Storm, get one. If you get one and don't like it, you now have until January 15 to return it, as VZW has extended the return period on all holiday purchases.
But if you're thinking of getting ME a Storm, please don't. I already know I don't much care for it. The software update helped a lot with the lag issues, but it didn't change that clickable touchscreen into something I actually like typing on.