Can Droid mask iPhone envy? Or will Verizon iPhone rumors keep users guessing?

As Motorola's Droid jumps under the spotlight, rumors of a Verizon iPhone cast shadows on the smartphone decision-making process for Verizon Wireless customers.

I have made no secret of my iPhone envy - or my refusal to switch to AT&T just to own one. I also have been pretty forthcoming about how much I like Google's Android mobile OS. Seriously, in my opinion, if there's going to be a real contender for the iPhone, it's going to be an Android device.

Today, there's a bunch of excitement surrounding Droid, the Motorola Android phone gearing up for a Nov. 6 release through Verizon Wireless. Just reading Andrew Nusca's initial look at the Droid, which was previewed at a press event in New York today and has landed in his hands for a review, has made me jealous.

The beauty of all of this is that my contract with Verizon is up, leaving me free to jump ship, get a promo price on a new device or just hang out month-to-month until I'm ready for the next plunge. Suddenly, Droid hits the scene and - just days after being out of contract - I'm suddenly ready to re-up and run out and buy a Droid when it hits the stores.

But wait... What's this about an iPhone on Verizon?

Just as the news of Droid is starting to hit the Internet today, here comes an analyst's report that gives hope to those who fall into the we-hate-AT&T-but-would-love-to-have-an-iPhone camp. In a note to investors, analyst Brian Marshall of Broadpoint.AmTech, said he sees a deal to bring the iPhone to Verizon in the second half of 2010, according to a post on Apple Insider.

That, however, would involve Apple re-negotiating the carrier subsidy for the device - estimated to be $450 per phone under the exclusive deal with AT&T. That could bring the subsidy down to $300 per phone on a non-exclusive deal, according to the report. But the losses could be offset by volume stemming from Verizon sales., Marshall says.

As for me, I'm ready - beyond ready - to dump the Blackberry. I've been testing the Blackberry Tour for a while and, while it has a nice screen and the keyboard is easy to use, it just doesn't have the coolness factor that comes with the iPhone - and, increasingly, Google Android devices.

And so, I'll likely break down and buy a Droid sometime in the next few weeks. I don't think it will change the envy I have for iPhone users - but, if the experience with Droid is a good one, I may be able to put the iPhone envy aside. It's hard to say. I'm feeling pretty wishy-washy about the whole thing - as I'm sure you've figured out by now.

But, if nothing else, I suddenly feel like I have - or will soon have - the power of choice again. I just love a competitive marketplace.

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