Motorola Droid gets official on Verizon; arrives Nov. 6 for $199

Verizon has officially announced the Motorola Droid smartphone, which will arrive on the carrier on Nov. 6 for $199.99 after $100 mail-in rebate.

Verizon has officially announced the Motorola Droid smartphone, which will arrive on the carrier on Nov. 6 for $199.99 after $100 mail-in rebate.

The Google Android-based smartphone is highly anticipated because Verizon, up until now, hasn't had much in the way of smartphone offerings beyond Research in Motion's BlackBerry family.

The Droid -- which will run on the as-yet-unseen Android 2.0 Eclair operating system and is being heralded as the "thinnest full-QWERTY slider smartphone available" -- is expected to please the carrier's immense customer base and prevent its customers from running to other carriers with better smartphone options, such as AT&T with the Apple iPhone, Sprint with the Palm Pre and HTC Hero and T-Mobile with the Motorola CLIQ.

I've previously detailed the specs of the device, which you can read in a list here.

The big selling points of the Droid:

  • It offers features the iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones do not
  • It offers Android 2.0, expected to fix the performance issues of previous builds of the OS
  • It's on Verizon, the carrier with the most coverage nationwide
  • It's got a big touchscreen
  • It's got a slider QWERTY keyboard

Verizon's positioning the Droid as an iPhone alternative, but I don't believe the phone addresses the same crowd: the iPhone is all-touch, the Droid is not; the iPhone has broad appeal, the Droid appeals to geeks and power users; etc.

I appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch on Monday to discuss this with Broadpoint Amtech analyst Brian Marshall. My points: Droid vs. iPhone is a tempting comparison, but on a global scale, the companies with the most to lose are actually Research in Motion (with BlackBerry) and Microsoft (with Windows Mobile).

Here's the clip:

Will you bite?

Previous coverage on ZDNet:

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