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Verizon Sets BlackBerry Storm Price

Basking Ridge, N.J. — The BlackBerry Storm 9530 will blow into the market Nov. 21 at $199 through all Verizon distribution channels. The price is after $50 mail-in rebate and with new two-year service agreement.

The Storm is the first touchscreen-equipped BlackBerry from Research In Motion, and it’s Verizon’s first cellular phone capable of operating around the world in 3G mode.

The Storm lacks hard buttons for dialing and typing, but RIM has promoted the device’s “clickable” tactile-feedback touchscreen, said to be a world’s first, as solving the usual problems associated with typing on traditional touchscreens. It’s said to respond much like a physical keyboard.

 Because of the device’s built-in accelerometer, users can type on a virtual QWERTY keyboard when the screen is in landscape mode and on a combination dialing keypad/SureType keyboard in portrait mode.

The U.S. version of the Storm operates in U.S. bands in CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A mode, and in the foreign 2.1GHz band it operates in W-CDMA HSPA (high-speed packet access) mode. It also operates as a quadband EDGE phone for global use. Verizon Wireless co-owner Vodaphone will offer the Storm 9500, which will operate in quadband EDGE mode and 2.1GHz HSPA mode.

The Storm is available exclusively to Verizon in the U.S. and to Vodafone in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Storm’s front panel features four hard buttons, and the touchscreen supports multi-touches, taps, slides and other touchscreen gestures so users can highlight, scroll, pan, zoom, cut and paste. The Storm also supports RIM’s personal and corporate email services as well as SMS, MMS and IM services. 

It will be the second RIM phone, following AT&T’s

BlackBerry Boldto operate internationally in 3G mode. The Bold became available earlier this month and operates globally in 3G HSPA mode and in GSM/

, EDGE mode. It ffeatures a QWERTY keyboard but lacks a touchscreen at $299 with two-year contract and select service plans.