Not the Droid you’re looking for?

November 6, 2009

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, theĀ 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 theĀ  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)


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A possible problem with this article is that the *worst* place to buy a ‘Droid was at a Verizon store. At the Verizon store you pay taxes on the full $599 price of the phone, and you get a weird “Verizon Credit Card” good for $200 or $300? I read it was for $200, but the math doesn’t work since you only pay $199 after rebate. Either way, if you buy it anyplace else, you get an instant rebate (no weird card), and and sometimes a better price ($188 at Wallmart), or better accessories (Car charger, carrying case and earbuds at Costco), and pay taxes on only the out-the-door price.

Only someone with limited knowledge of how the Droid is being sold, would buy a ‘Droid at an actual Verizon store.

Posted by Zonn | Report as abusive

I would like to clear, not every dam phone that comes out is iphone like, no company wants to be like the iphone, if it had that plan they would all have done the same…iphone is an iphone and droid is the droid…stop comparing everything technology to an iphone, I have seen articles compare the Microsoft Touch screen table computer(forgot the name) to an iphone, this is absolutely ridicules, the only thing abt iphone is the apps, if it didnt have apps iphone SUCKS does anyone realize that…

Posted by TKD | Report as abusive

I’m still trying to figure out why a phone from motorola can’t handle voice dialing through a blue tooth device like my 5 year old motorola e815. Droid does some stuff well but it should try to be a good phone first.

Posted by droiddoesnot | Report as abusive

I love my Droid. Im coming from a windows Mobile phone and wow what a big step .. I have seen many people say this phone sucks because it doesnt have multi touch but thats not true . the phone is fully capable of multi touch .. I made a video to show how you can do it and also save some battery life hope it helps out

Posted by Andrew Zarian | Report as abusive


…for most of the same reasons that iPhone lacks this feature, too: security concerns. Ever read about folks using bluetooth to compromise a cellphone? If not, just Google it — ‘bluetooth cellphone hack’.

And, unlike your crusty old Razr or Sidekick, the bad guys can do some serious damage by getting inside a full-featured smart phone. Like implanting and executing malicious code.

That said, the folks at Android Open Source Project (AOSP) have been working on the problem since earlier this year. Android v1.6 (‘Donut’) includes support for BT voice dialing, however this feature was removed from the active O/S after testing showed some problems. In fact, the lines of code are still present – so developers can test them – but they are ‘commented out’, thus inactive.

Android’s latest version, 2.0 (‘Eclair’) supposedly has an improved version of this feature plus a great deal more BT functionality, overall. Not sure why BT voice dialing is still inactive, tho, so we’ll have to wait for more info…after all, v2.0 was released to developers less than 10 days ago. Wish I had better news, but at the current pace of updates I expect this issue to be handled, very soon.

Hope this info helps.

Posted by Justa Notherguy | Report as abusive

> if it didnt have apps iphone SUCKS does anyone
> realize that

Don’t the MILLIONS of happy iPhone users see how much the iPhone sucks????

Doesn’t the 99% satisfaction rating tell you how much they dislike that horrible iPhone????

Doesn’t any of the 1 *MILLION* iphones that sold just in that first weekend of sales… tell you how unpopular that iPhone must be to everyone????


Posted by Susan | Report as abusive

^Don’t realize that probably half of those millions of happy iphone users canNOT stand AT&T? LOL

Posted by David | Report as abusive

After my experience with the “Q”…I wouldn’t go near a new Motorola device for no less than six – nine months… yet alone a new device using a new OS… how can the company that created cell phones screw things up so badly… and so consistently…

I also fell into the Storm trap… your referring to it as
“much criticized BlackBerry Storm last year…” is a gross understatement… I became expert at performing one handed hard resets white driving! What really is bothering is that BOTH RIM and Verizon knew that there were “issues” with the device when they first shipped it… ship it first and (failed) fix it later!… Hey folks only Bill gets away with that one…

Posted by Stan Brody | Report as abusive

They’ll never catch up with iphone. The problem is that these new smart phones are about 2 generations behind the current iphone. This Droid phone is equivalent to the FIRST iphone. Verizon and Motorola are pushing that this phone has 10,000+ apps……IPHONE HAS MILLIONS AND MILLIONS!!!! And to purchase these apps?? You have to go through amazon or something and download and….yada yada yada. Too complicated?? YUP. It will never compare with the simplicity and capabilities of iphone, PERIOD. And TKD, every phone that comes out IS trying to compete with iphone. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the iphone is the most popular phone in the country, thats called COMPETITION.

Posted by BRYAN | Report as abusive

I got a Droid and love it. My 16-year-old son, who has an iPhone, also loves my Droid and he’s sick of the AT&T coverage holes — that’s bad news for Apple. Frankly, I probably would have gotten an iPhone (or a Palm Pre) if they had it on Verizon. But the Droid fulfills my need for a smartphone on a great network that is easy to use and surprises me with its capabilities.

Posted by D Klein | Report as abusive