TELUS announced today that it will be the first carrier in Canada to offer the BlackBerry Storm – RIM’s first touchscreen smartphone. Specifics on the release date and pricing weren’t provided, but TELUS said the Storm will be available in time for the holiday shopping season this year.

Released in August, the BlackBerry Bold was hailed as the fastest Blackberry on the market. When asked what set the Bold apart from the iPhone, which launched in Canada just six weeks earlier, RIM’s director of PR Shelley Sofer pointed to the QWERTY keyboard, which appealed to a text-centric audience.

The Storm rests somewhere in the middle with virtual QWERTY and SureType. Although there are no tactile keys on the Storm’s touchscreen display, users will experience a physical response that simulates the feel of clicking tactile keys. Further details on the ClickThrough technology aren’t yet available.

Target to the consumer market, as opposed to the Bold’s premium business user, the Storm features a 3.25-inch high resolution HGVA touchscreen, 1GB internal memory, an 8GB microSD card, built-in GPS and a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash. While the Storm lacks Wi-Fi capabilities, it supports Bluetooth 2.0, records video and sports a removable battery – three features iPhone users crave.

Interestingly, the CDMA device has a SIM card slot. Marketed as a world phone, the Storm will come with an international charger. TELUS estimates battery life at 15 days in standby, 6 hours of talk time and “plenty of hours” for Internet use.

Watch video coverage of the BlackBerry Bold launch in Toronto:

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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