Good news for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) and Verizon Wireless: People buying their latest smartphone, the touchscreen BlackBerry Storm, are not ditching them as much as we’d heard.
Verizon declined to comment yesterday before we published our post suggesting that the Storm has an unusually high return rate.
But since then, the carrier has issued a statement to mobile blog Boy Genius Report, whose founding editor told us one of the stats we’d published yesterday: That some 40% to 50% of Storms were being returned.
Not so, apparently. “The Storm has the lowest return rate of any of our PDAs and at this point in its life cycle, it has the lowest return rate of any PDA we currently sell,” a Verizon rep told BGR.
We assume Verizon is telling the truth. (We’d note that Verizon has extended its return period through Jan. 15 for all holiday purchases, including any Storms sold.)
Either way, could be good news for Verizon’s (VZ) Q4 subscriber retention. The carrier has spent a lot of money advertising the Storm, and both Verizon Wireless and RIM are counting on the Storm to fend off Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone — exclusive to AT&T — this holiday shopping season.
Update: We’ve just spotted a RBC/ChangeWave survey that could have saved us some time.
Survey: Blackberry Storm Lags iPhone — But Inline with Other Phones. Dec RBC IQ / Changewave data (new Storm owners) shows Blackberry Storm lags iPhone on initial satisfaction; 33% of Storm owners were Very Satisfied, 46% Satisfied — vs. 77% of iPhone (original) owners initially Very Satisfied and 15% Satisfied. These satisfaction ratings are lower than iPhone but inline with satisfaction ratings for initial owners of other phones.
Regarding Potential Returns. 2% of respondents are Very Likely and 7% Somewhat Likely to return the Storm – not an alarming result, but higher than typical (est. 1-2%) returns. Reasons for returning: battery life (21%), touchscreen (20%), difficult to use (20%).
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