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

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

Summary: 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.

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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:

Topics: Verizon, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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9 comments
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  • I'm excited...

    I'll want to play with one at the store first and my VZW contract isn't up for renewal until April, so I may end up having to wait to get the $199 price, but I'm very excited that Verizon finally has what appears to be an "iPhone class" smartphone in their line up.

    (actually, waiting 6 months will give them time to work out whatever bugs may be in the phone)

    I'm also assuming that, since the feature is listed on Verizon's site, the phone will come with the wifi still active.

    As far as "iPhone killer" status is concerned though: I think that will all depend on how Apple reacts. If they decide "screw VZW for their attack ads" and/or don't release the iPhone on any network beyond AT&T and the Droid eventually becomes available on networks beyond VZW, then Apple could be in some trouble.

    If Apple puts iPhone out for all the other networks, then the Droid may end up being just a flash in the pan.
    TeamDrunkenPanda
    • Again, where have you all been?

      Did you not read the article either?

      Android is already out on every major network including T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T - plus it's released on major carriers all over the world.

      The "Droid" is just another Android based handset, one over well over a dozen already on the market.

      Android has already surpassed iPhone on many fronts.
      trance2tec
  • RE: Motorola Droid gets official on Verizon; arrives Nov. 6 for $199

    Yawn. How many "iPhone killers" have to be launched
    before someone actually offers something innovative?

    Like the Palm Pre, the *only* thing this has going for it is
    that it's not on the ATT network. People who, for
    whatever reason, cannot switch to ATT for the iPhone,
    can have a second-rate phone instead. As such, it'll sell,
    but I agree with the author that those sales will be at the
    expense of Blackberry and WinMobile phones, not
    iPhone.
    zeemarc
    • Not exactly right

      It seems that the iPhone does great business not because it's a first class phone (everything I've heard it's not) but an iTouch with a phone and camera built in.

      I'd much rather call and text with my Env3 than an iPhone, but would love all of the "iTouch" features too.
      stano360
  • I am torn... i really really really want the iphone...

    but the company i work for will not buy into att and i do not blame them.

    I would have to buy it with my own money and accept calls on it.. since this comes out of my pocket.. it aint happenin.

    I like this phone, it looks nice and has many features, but unlike apple, its missing the online app store and itunes things. I really want those.

    Apple has it in a nice little package.. so i am torn.
    Been_Done_Before
    • Of course it has the "app store"

      In fact, it does "itunes things" - there are music purchasing options, Android has a great music player, the Droid has a headphone jack as well.

      This is build on Android, hence the "droid" - which has the Android Marketplace with thousands upon thousands of apps, just like Apple.

      If you have ever used an Android phone like the HTC Hero, you would quickly realize that it's a much better offering than the iPhone.
      trance2tec
  • With an iTunes/App store equivalent, maybe...

    Two things will determine whether this phone alters the crazy momentum of the iPhone. First, it needs an iTunes + App store equivalent. It needs to be point & click simple to buy music, video, and applications for the Droid. Second, it needs to be brain-dead simple to operate ALL of the functions of the phone. The interface and the app store are what make the iPhone a hit. People put up with all of the other iPhone shortcomings BECAUSE of the strength of those two items. The Palm fell short in those areas, so it hasn't done great. If Droid can match the iPhone in those two areas, the iPhone will finally have a viable competitor to slow its momentum.
    BillDem
    • iTunes?

      Android has a very nice app store. But what do you
      need iTunes for? Can't you download music, videos
      and Apps directly from the iphone?
      30otnix
    • Where have you people been?

      You can use almost any major service to download your music such as E-Music, Rhapsody, Napster, and others. Not only do you get an "iTunes equivalent" - but you get many more options.

      Plus there is the Android Market, with thousands upon thousands of apps available. Android has a ton of handsets out and a marketshare that is expanding very quickly with more apps and more options coming out daily.

      Where have you all been?
      trance2tec