Whether the long, cold waits – and, for many, ultimately empty-handed departures – were down to a security issue or general inventory problems is still not clear.

What’s certain is that the Blackberry Storm’s US launch didn’t go as either exclusive operator Verizon or maker Research In Motion would have wished.

Lines of people formed outside Verizon Wireless stores on Friday to buy the Storm, the first touch-screen phone from RIM that aims to compete with Apple’s iPhone.

Today, Verizon has placed a notice on its online ordering page stating that: "Due to limited availability of the BlackBerry Storm 9530 smartphone, orders will ship by 12/15".

While Verizon has declined to give specifics on inventory levels, the shipping delays are being attributed in some quarters to a last-minute security glitch.

The Storm was to have launched with OS version, but because of the security issue every handset had to be downgraded to .65.

This time-consuming task is the most likely reason why so many fewer handsets arrived in-store and online for release.

Just to make matters worse, some of those who did manage to buy a Storm were met with activation issues as Verizon’s servers seemingly met the same fate as AT&T’s and Apple’s on iPhone 3G launch day.

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