The BlackBerry Storm 2 (also known as “Odin,” “9550,” or “9520”) has been the subject of passing rumors for the last six months. As the purported sequel to Research in Motion’s first touchscreen BlackBerry, it looked as though the new device would improve upon the shortcomings of its predecessor without deviating from its familiar style. In other words, it would keep the same chassis shape and trademark “clickable touchscreen,” but would give the device more consumer appeal by doing things they actually want, like adding Wi-Fi, improving the interface, and bringing the applications up to par with its competition.
It’s not that the original Storm was a slouch by most measurements. But since it was such a great departure from the traditional BlackBerry form factor, its reception among BlackBerry fans was mixed. I personally know four BlackBerry loyalists who bought a Storm and subsequently returned it, citing such reasons as, “It didn’t feel right,” and “It wasn’t what I was expecting.”
Six months ago, sources “familiar with the subject” predicted a September 29 launch; and last month there were predictions that the device would actually launch today, so prior reports have been pretty much voided. But there’s been a recent blitz of information, which essentially guarantees that the device is about to arrive.
Last week, the customary pre-launch accessories began to show up at Best Buy, fan sites began posting pictures and videos (some more Canadian than others). Yesterday The New York Times said Verizon will be launching the Storm 2 in the US this week, and overseas reports suggest a mid-October launch. Vodafone Germany began listing the BlackBerry Storm 9550 on its Site this week, but the page has since been removed.
It’s still not official, but all eyes are on Verizon for the new Storm to hit tonight, tomorrow, or Friday.