Best Buy Taking Pre-Orders for BlackBerry Storm

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Best Buy has set up an unusual program that allows people to put money down to reserve the upcoming BlackBerry Storm, the first device from RIM with a touchscreen.

Of course, there’s nothing unusual about a store taking pre-orders for a smartphone before it launches. What makes this program different is people who pre-order have to do so without knowing exactly when the Storm will be released or precisely what it will cost.

However, this retailer is giving some guidelines. It says this smartphone will debut from Verizon Wireless in mid-November, and will be priced between $200 and $300 for a two-year new activation.

Some Rules Apply

BlackBerry StormIt is necessary to go to a Best Buy store to pre-order; it can’t be done on-line. And the customer will have to put down $50 to reserve a unit, although this is refundable if the customer changes his or her mind later.

The description of this program indicates that each Best Buy store will be sent a sufficient number of Storm units to cover pre-orders. Customers will be called to set up an appointment to pick up their smartphone when it arrives.

An Overview of the BlackBerry Storm

The Storm has a tablet shape with a 3.25-inch, 360-by-480-pixel display, with both landscape and portrait support. It doesn’t have a built-in keyboard, so all text is entered on the display.

Naturally, RIM is emphasizing the email capabilities of this BlackBerry. In addition, it comes with DataViz Documents to Go, which lets users edit Office files directly on the handset.

In addition, RIM is also pushing the Storm’s use as a music and video player.

Verizon’s version of this smartphone will have support for this carrier’s EV-DO network and Bluetooth, but not Wi-Fi.

The Storm also has a GPS receiver and a 3.2 MPx camera with flash.

RIM says its 1400 mAh battery will provide approximately six hours of talk time on 3G networks or 15 days of standby time.

Vodafone released its version of the Storm earlier this week.

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