A security issue could lead to shortages of Verizon’s Blackberry Storm on its US launch day today.

The last minute hitch has forced both maker RIM and exclusive operator Verizon to update the firmware and reduce supplies of phones, according to a report on BGR.

It says that one Verizon store due to receive 100 units is now to get only 40.

While supplies are expected to be distributed nationwide, there will be less of them and shortages are expected in some areas.

Third-party retailers, such as Best Buy, are now being given second priority and could have their in-store dates pushed back to reduce shortage problems at carrier stores.

The hitch is hardly the start RIM would have wanted for its first touchscreen Blackberry – and now main rival contender to Apple’s iPhone.

Apple racked up a million sales if its 3G handset worldwide in its first weekend alone.

Aside from supply difficulties, advance reviews of the Storm have generally been very favorable.

Aspects where the handset has advantages over the iPhone include features such cut-and-paste text, a "clickable" capacitive touchscreen, full turn-by-turn GPS navigation and removables such as the battery and microSDHC memory cards.

The lack of WiFi is seen as a big disadvantage, as is the dearth of apps available compared to what is offered by Apple’s App Store.

With both smartphones priced similarly – around USD $200 and USD $70 per month for service – price isn’t going to be a determining factor.

If you’re heading out today to get your hands on a Bold, please let us know of any shortages you come across.

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