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How the BlackBerry Storm Became the Storm

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 07, 2008

There’s been a lot of confusion about the name of the new BlackBerry Storm. During development, it was known by the two code names, Storm and Thunder. This led to speculation that there were actually two separate products, the Storm, based on CDMA technology, for Verizon, and the GSM Thunder for carriers in the rest of the world. Now we know that there is only one handset and it is a dual-mode CDMA/GSM 3G phone for Verizon and Vodafone.

Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis gave the mundane truth behind the confusion in a conversation the other day. When RIM began developing a touchscreen BlackBerry, it used the code name Storm. But when the company began discussing it with Verizon Wireless, the carriers executives fell in love now only with the concept but the name and started spinning marketing concepts about “taking the world by Storm.”

RIM, however, has a firm policy against ever using development code names for actual products. So it changed the code name to Thunder so that Verizon and Vodafone could have their marketing fun.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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