Vodafone Unleashes BlackBerry Storm Pricing

Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas boys and girls. It's an otherwise normal person dressed up in a Santa suit here. I'm here to deliver some very special Christmas news to all you crackberry addicts gadget lovers out there.

So who here wants a BlackBerry Storm? Well, we've known that it was going to be available exclusively on Vodafone here in Australia, and today I can happily tell you that you can get your touchscreen Blackberry fix from December 1 all around the country. But more than that, I have some pricing for you. What, you don't think that all those elves up in RIM's Canadian sweatshop work for free, do you?The phone will be available for free on a number of plans over 24 months, the cheapest being $69 a month, and the most expensive costing $149 a month. Included in all the plans are blackberry email and data, which Vodafone claim is unlimited*. Notice that '*' at the end of unlimited? That means it's not, you know, unlimited. But for the most part, you need not worry about excess data, which is a nice touch for all the good boys and girls out there.

The Storm is also compatible with Vodafone's MusicStation Service and comes pre-loaded with a heap of social networking apps like Flickr and Facebook.

If you can't wait for your parents to pretend that some guy who looks like me when I'm wearing this bright red suit and give you a Storm of your own, you can preregister your interest here. Anyone who does pre-register not only has the chance to get the phone early, but will also receive a bonus 8GB memory card, which you can either use yourself or regift come Christmas day. Totally up to you.

[Vodafone]

Vodafone Australia announces BlackBerry® StormTM pricing New, unlimited email and internet caps announced for exclusive BlackBerry® StormTM as Christmas demand for smartphones heats up

Vodafone Australia today announces pricing for the new BlackBerry Storm smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM), well ahead of Christmas. Available exclusively through Vodafone, the BlackBerry Storm will be available free on a new range of combined voice and data plans, called Vodafone Internet Caps, offering customers unlimited* BlackBerry email and internet browsing on a 24-month contract (see table below). The BlackBerry Storm will be available from Monday, December 1.

The BlackBerry Storm smartphone is the perfect choice for both personal users and business customers looking for a state-of-the-art, multimedia device that makes a statement in the office and out on the town. Its unique and innovative SurePress™ touchscreen, which depresses ever so slightly when the screen is pressed, dramatically enhances the touch interface for both typing and navigation and gives users an experience they can actually feel. The stylish smartphone boasts exceptional performance, a stunning display and rich features including 3G (HSPA) network support, GPS, desktop-style web pages, advanced multimedia, a first class phone, camera and robust messaging capabilities - all designed to give users an incredibly fast and powerful mobile experience.

Vodafone Internet Caps (cost per month) Included talk, TXT and more (per month) Included data* BlackBerry Storm Contract $69 $340 Unlimited BlackBerry email and internet Free^ 24-month $79 $550 Unlimited BlackBerry email and internet Free^ 24-month $99 $650 Unlimited BlackBerry email and internet Free^ 24-month $119 $1,000 Unlimited BlackBerry email and internet Free^ 24-month $149 $2,000 Unlimited BlackBerry email and internet Free^ 24-month ^Minimum costs and early exit fees apply. See www.vodafone.com.au for details.

Russell Hewitt, CEO, Vodafone Australia comments: "Today we announce that we're bringing the BlackBerry Storm to Australia with a sensational $0 offer with unlimited BlackBerry email and internet usage. BlackBerry Storm is the first device to come to fruition following an agreement between Vodafone, Verizon and RIM to develop and bring to market cutting edge smartphones on the BlackBerry platform."

Hewitt continues: "Available exclusively through Vodafone, the BlackBerry Storm features a new 'clickable' touchscreen that will redefine expectations on performance from a touchscreen handset and become an instant hit with customers with its sexy design and ease of use. With the popularity of data-intensive services sky-rocketing, we're enabling customers to make the most of Vodafone's 3G network and RIM's latest technology to enjoy the services they want at a price that is very affordable."

Dany Bolduc, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Research In Motion comments: "The BlackBerry Storm is a next-generation smartphone designed to meet the communications and multimedia needs of the most demanding customers. The new "clickable" SurePress touch-screen is a remarkable innovation that offers a revolutionary improvement to the touch interface. We are very excited to introduce the first touchscreen BlackBerry smartphone together with Vodafone in Australia.

Bolduc concludes: "With its robust communications capabilities, rich multimedia features and stylish design, the BlackBerry Storm helps customers make the most of their time with a chic and lifestyle-friendly smartphone."

The introduction of the new BlackBerry Application Centre from Vodafone will also coincide with the release of the BlackBerry Storm smartphone, available in December. The new on-device Application Centre enables BlackBerry Storm customers to easily download applications over Vodafone's 3G network. Some applications will be available free of charge, with others clearly priced and included on the customer's monthly bill. A selection of applications is outlined below:

MusicStation Have access to the latest tracks at your fingertips with Vodafone MusicStation. Get unlimited access to over 1 million music tracks for only $2.75 per week.

Vodafone Compass Vodafone's popular Compass service offers a complete navigation experience - whether driving or walking - enabling users to find their way quickly and easily using turn-by-turn GPS navigation.

Social networking applications The BlackBerry Storm comes pre-loaded with a number of social networking and Instant Messaging applications. These include; Facebook, Flickr and a range of IM applications that can be used through the BlackBerry browser, including: Windows Live Messenger, AOL, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and ICQ.

Customers can pre-register to purchase the BlackBerry Storm smartphone at: www.vodafone.com.au/blackberrystorm. Pre-registered customers will be given the opportunity to purchase the BlackBerry Storm the w/c November 24, online. Customers that pre-register and buy a BlackBerry Storm online will receive a complimentary 8GB memory card.

The BlackBerry Storm will also be available to business customers on Vodafone's single Business Cap plans that were launched in September, 2008.

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