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.
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).