By now most of us have heard this story in one fashion or another: when Steve Jobs and Apple were in the planning stages of the iPhone, the first carrier they brought the device to America’s largest network, Verizon. Even if you haven’t heard how the tale ends — Verizon refused and Jobs took his multi-billion dollar ball to AT&T — you surely know the outcome. The iPhone has soared to become the ultimate smartphone, the must-have accessory that everyone from celebrities to your mom wants — nay, needs — to have in their pocket. It’s changed the landscape of modern cellphones, put a serious dent in the sales of competing devices (just recently overtaking the venerable RAZR as the best-selling domestic handset), and unquestionably raised the bar when it comes to expectations for features in new handsets.
It may seem unfair to open up the review of RIM’s latest BlackBerry — the Storm — with a history lesson on the iPhone, but if you understand the market which Verizon and RIM hope to capture, then you understand the Storm, and it helps put this critique in perspective. The Storm, a widescreen, touchscreen, device boasts many of the same features as the iPhone, but adds innovations like a clickable display, and comes packed with RIM’s legendary email and messaging services. Mainlined into the biggest (and some say best) network in the States, the Storm is an almost deafening blast to the competition at first glance, but does it hold up on closer inspection? Read on to find out.