Verizon Drops BlackBerry Storm Price to $50

Verizon Wireless quietly lowers the price of the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm 9530 smartphone to $50 with a two-year service contract. The price cut by Verizon comes as RIM gears up to offer the BlackBerry Storm 2, possibly as early as September.

In a quiet move to wrap up August, Verizon Wireless is cutting the price of Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm 9530 smartphone to about $50, as long as users agree to a two-year service contract.

Verizon posted the new BlackBerry storm price on its Website Aug. 31. According to the pricing scheme, the BlackBerry Storm smartphone costs $149.99 with a two-year contract before Verizon adds a $100 discount for a total of $49.99.

The price cut from Verizon and RIM comes as both companies are gearing up to launch the much-anticipated BlackBerry Storm 2. Several Websites have RIM and Verizon launching the new Storm as early as September, although other information has the smartphone coming in October.

The BlackBerry Storm was RIM's first touch-screen model and launched in November 2008. At the time, the Storm looked to compete against the popular Apple iPhone, although a number of other competitors, such as the Palm Pre, have also laid claim to the title of "iPhone killer."

Rumors have circulated that Apple will end its exclusive deal with AT&T and offer the iPhone to a number of other wireless carriers. For now, Verizon is considered the top contender for when Apple opens up the iPhone to different carriers.

In the meantime, RIM is looking to put the final touches on the BlackBerry Storm 2. Several Websites indicate that the Storm 2 smartphone will include Wi-Fi technology, as well as new touch-screen technology. Right now, the Storm uses SurePress technology for the touch-screen, while the Storm 2 could use TruePress technology, which should make typing with the device much easier. Another new feature of the BlackBerry Storm 2 should be a better camera.

RIM is also expected to offer a number of new smartphones later in 2009. One of the most anticipated is a device code-named Niagara, which has been mentioned during many conferences but about which there is little known for now.