Not the Droid you’re looking for?
After a few weeks of mysterious adverts promising a better alternative to iPhone, Motorola’s $200 Droid phone finally hit the shelves in Verizon wireless stores on Friday. Unsurprisingly, the launch failed to attract anything like the frenzy of an iPhone launch, which had people camping out for days at its peak.
Still, all the advertising, and the positive reviews from bloggers and gadget gurus including David Pogue and Walt Mossberg, did help to lure some customers to Verizon stores.
Tech website Cnet’s Marguerite Reardon said that she found about 100 enthusiasts lining up for Verizon’s special midnight opening in New York under what could hardly be described as balmy weather conditions. This morning, in a follow up story, her headline read “Slow start for the Motorola Droid?”.
In a research note entitled “Droid is no iPhone, not even Storm,” Jefferies analyst Bill Choi said the launch didn’t compare well with Verizon’s launch of the much criticized BlackBerry Storm last year.
But Choi noted that store traffic was higher than usual in the locations he checked out and he said “anywhere between 5-7 people huddled around the Droid station at any given time.”
While some of the Droid phones being sold today are HTC’s new cheaper device, dubbed Droid Eris, Choi noted that all stores were reporting far better demand for Motorola Droid than that of HTC.
The “Motorola brand is helping and people really like the keyboard” said Choi who estimated that Verizon could sell as many as 750,000 of the Motorola Droid devices by year end.
That’s no iPhone, but it’s somethign, especially for Motorola’s Sanjay Jha who is betting the future of the entire company on Google’s Android system.
(Reuters Photo of Motorola’s Droid)