There appears to be a fire sale on the BlackBerry Storm. The smartphone's manufacturer, Research in Motion, and the phone's exclusive carrier, Verizon Wireless, have teamed up to offer a BOGO sale (that's "buy one, get one" free) on the Storm, along with the seven other BlackBerry models. The move precedes RIM's mixed news on Wednesday that its quarterly earnings and gross margin would come in at the low end of expectations, although subscriber growth would top its forecasts. RIM stock fell as much 13 percent on Nasdaq after the earnings announcement.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it expects additional net subscribers in the quarter ending Feb. 28, coming in 20 percent higher than the 2.9 million it predicted on Dec. 18.
Over the past year, RIM has introduced new models such as the Storm and the Bold in an effort to take on Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G. But the economic slump has reduced consumer spending.
The Storm, released in November, weathered a rocky start. Among the problems early users faced were software and other technical issues, and operating system glitches. RIM addressed many of the problems with a firmware update in December.
Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive officer at RIM, said in a news release: "RIM achieved a very strong start to the holiday buying season and the momentum carried on stronger than expected during the past seven weeks despite a seasonally slower timeframe and the challenging economic environment. We are pleased with our leadership and momentum in the market after shipping our 50 millionth BlackBerry smartphone in January and introducing a range of new products that are achieving exceptional early results and helping attract record levels of new customers to the BlackBerry platform."
In the Verizon deal, customers can get two Storms for the contract price of one -- about $200 -- with a required two-year activation contract per phone.
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