What's the difference between the original launch of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) new BlackBerry Storm? Cops.

CrackBerry addicts made a scene outside a midtown Manhattan store when the Storm sold out one hour after going on sale, Reuters reports. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) sells the handset for RIM at its stores. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and soon-to-be-bankrupt Circuit City also carry the handset. But that doesn't mean you'll get one.

"I had two pre-orders at Best Buy and Circuit City. Now I'm here and I'm hearing it's sold out," one New York-area shopper told Reuters. "I guess 8 a.m. in the morning is too late." Talk about iPhone-esque.

Beat that, Apple
RIM has been brewing the Storm for a while. Kudos to company executives for creating a "must-have" product in a market where most tech is being labeled are-you-freaking-kidding-me? Seriously. Ask Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), or Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), or Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) what they think. Exactly none of them is getting the respect they deserve.

To be fair, I haven't been giving Research In Motion all the respect it deserves, either. Blame the numbers. The BlackBerry's third-quarter market share gains were impressive, but not nearly as impressive as what the iPhone achieved.

That could change come Q4. I say "could" because most reviews I've read aren't saying that the Storm is better than the iPhone. The closest comes from the bloggers at Engadget. Reviewer Joshua Topolsky begins by writing that "the Storm is an almost deafening blast to the competition at first glance," only to end with a modest pat on the back. Quoting:

Going into this review, we really wanted to love this phone. On paper it sounds like the perfect antidote to our gripes about the iPhone, and in some ways it lives up to those promises -- but more often than not while using the Storm, we felt let down or frustrated. Ultimately, this could be a great platform with a little more time in the oven, but right now, it feels undercooked -- and that's not enough for us.

So be it. But no gloating allowed, Apple; you're not safe. If anything, it's time to get worried that so many want a viable iPhone alternative.

Brrrrrring! It's related Foolishness calling:

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