SMEs not blown along by Storm BlackBerry hype

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SMEs not blown along by Storm BlackBerry hype

Antony Savvas

SME and SoHo users wanting to run their offices whilst on the road are not as positive as they could be about the new BlackBerry Storm smartphone, a so-called "iPhone killer".

Despite large marketing budgets allocated to the Storm by BlackBerry maker RIM, it was eclipsed by sales of the iPhone during the xmas holiday season.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the US for instance, the Storm sold around 500,000 units against over 2m for Apple's iPhone.

The first users of the Storm have also complained about being sold a "clunky" OS and of the poor reliability of the device when using various applications.

RIM was forced to issue a fix to some of the glitches in December, and is promising another for other problems soon.

The device has attracted mixed reviews, although many potential reviews have been stalled as a result of developers not being able to get hold of a promised free unit.

At the first ever BlackBerry developers conference in the US last year, all attendees were promised a free BlackBerry from a choice of three.

The majority chose the Storm, but many have still not received their device, almost three months after the conference. RIM has apologised to developers individually at least twice about the delays in getting them their units.

Firms not tempted so far by the Storm, will also soon be offered the new Palm Pre and the Nokia N97 - both devices aimed squarely at the niche the iPhone has successfully carved out for itself.

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