Verizon Wireless sells out of BlackBerry Storm early?
Buyers who didn’t get to Verizon stores in time on Friday, the first day of sales, were first told that they would get the touch-screen iPhone rival in about five to seven days.
But by Monday morning, Verizon’s website was only promising that orders would be shipped by mid December, citing “limited availability.” Dec. 15 was also the date cited by at least one midtown Manhattan store, which had run out early on Friday.
Does this signal overwhelming demand that took Verizon and Research In Motion by surprise, or some sort of problem? RIM referred questions about the delay to Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless was still not commenting by 4.45 PM Monday.
At least some analysts were convinced that the Storm had sold out.
Research Capital analyst Nick Agostino wrote in a research note that his checks on 30 direct and indirect Verizon retail outlets showed that the phone had sold out within an hour on Friday and that the company had sold 250,000 to 400,000 phones.
But with shipments not expected until mid-December, or even later, the analyst questioned whether there were manufacturing/distribution issues at RIM and worried if a delay would lead customers to rivals if they could not physically deliver the product prior to the holidays. That said the analyst acknowleded having no concrete indication this was the case.
“It is unclear if RIM/Verizon risks losing some of the significant pent-up demand in the crucial Thanksgiving shopping week,” RBC anlayst Mike Abramsky
(Graphic from Verizon Wireless website)