The Wall Street Journal provides another example of how perspective is everything. In their article entitled "Bumpy Start for Blackberry Storm" they say...
When Verizon Communications Inc. reports its fourth-quarter results Tuesday, investors will be looking for clues on how the Storm has fared. Verizon Wireless is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the device.
People familiar with the matter say the company sold roughly 500,000 units in the first month after the Storm's Nov. 21 launch. That is a promising start, though well off the pace of AT&T Inc.'s sale of 2.4 million iPhone 3G devices in that device's first full quarter on the market.
The problem with the comparison above is that the original iPhone had been around for over a year when the 3G was released. It was already a success and already had an established momentum.
A fairer comparison would be to place the Storm against the original iPhone's sales. From Silicon Alley Insider (2 months after the original iPhone's release)...
Days after Apple gets hammered by the Street over iPhones sales, Steve Jobs tells us that he's selling plenty of fancy phones: 1 million of them in 74 days. The news, announced before the market opened, bumped up AAPL: Shares immediately jumped to $137. But now they're dropping down again, below $135. So is 1 million a good number or not?
It's not -- not even by Apple's own low-ball public sales goals. Jobs has announced plans to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 -- a year and a half after launch. But a million iPhones in 74 days works out to a little less than 5 million iPhones per year -- if you're selling them at a consistent rate. Apple sold 270,000 machines in the first two frenzied days it was on sale, which means it took 72 more days to sell another 700,000 phones. That's a 3.6 million annual run rate, which would give Jobs a total of 5.8 million by the end of 2008...
1 Million iPhones in 74 days equates to about 406,000 iPhones in the first month. That's 94,000 less than the Blackberry Storm. Which is even more impressive when you remember the iPhone was coming into a market where it was the only device of it's kind. Storm is competing against the iPhone, G1 and the looming threat of the the Palm Pre.
Moving on, the WSJ says this in the 4th and 5th paragraph of the article...
Some Storm owners have complained about everything from clunky software for typing on the touch screen to the device's sluggish performance with basic tasks like dialing-by-voice or taking photographs.
"I found myself wanting to throw it in the ocean due to my frustration with its overall usability," said Steven Golub, a longtime Verizon customer from Morristown, N.J., who bought the Storm the day it was released, but returned it a few weeks later.
Which sounds bad, but in the 19th paragraph they say...
Some Storm owners say all new technologies, especially complex mobile devices, have kinks when they first come out. The original iPhone, they point out, ran into early problems after its release when some users couldn't activate their AT&T accounts.
Daniel Mahoney, a financial and management consultant in Philadelphia, said he's happy with his Storm, adding, "No single device is going to be the end-all be-all for everyone."
Bottom line: This was a hit piece on the WSJ's part. They twisted the facts every which way to make the point they wanted to make (notice they couldn't bring themselves to include a happy Storm user).
Right now I'd say the Storm is doing as well as could be expected. Yes there are some users who hate it but I suspect there are also users who love it (or at least like it a lot). If there weren't the device's sales would have plummeted.
I sincerely doubt it will manage to cut into iPhone sales but I suspect it will keep existing Blackberry users on-board and that's really what RIM wanted out of this anyway.