Verizon and Google have already announced their “strategic partnership” and it may already be taking shape. Last night Verizon unveiled its teaser for the upcoming Android 2.0 powered “Droid” handset.
The device is being marketed as a direct iPhone rival. The teaser basically consists of a list of features that the iPhone doesn’t have that the Droid does.
The device is purported to be manufactured by Motorola but the “Droid” brand is going to be owned by Verizon. The handset is rumored to have an OMAP3430 processor, 5 megapixel camera (which is confirmed in the teaser), a slideout QWERTY keyboard, a 3.7-inch 854×480 touchscreen, and doesn’t seem to run MotoBlur.
John Gruber, of Daring Fireball, points out that the teaser’s small print notes “Droid” as a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and is being licensed to Verizon. Licensing this name in particular was a wise choice on Verizon’s part. “Droid” is the perfect name for an Android device and (as Gruber puts it) “sort of implicitly establishes it as the Android phone.”
This also confirms that Verizon isn’t getting the iPhone anytime soon.
10/11/09: Verizon and Google Partnering on Android
Update 10/19/09: The Boy Genius Report has managed to get some hands on time with the Motorola/Verizon Droid. According to the Boy Genius, it’s basically the best Android device ever made. Regarding the design of the device:
From what we’ve been told, Google had a direct hand in the Motorola Droid. Something to the point of almost dictating every move Motorola made when designing and making the phone.
Update 10/22/09: The Boy Genius Report has some screenshots of the Droid on Motorola’s website. They don’t link directly to the page, so either the page has been taken down or the Boy Genius decided not to make the link public.
Engadget is reporting that Verizon has sent out invitations for a special event to be held on October 28 where they will officially unveil the Motorola Droid.
Update 10/25/09: The Boy Genius Report managed to have some hands on time with the Motorola Droid. From the preview:
The Motorola CLIQ was a pretty big disappointment for me personally, but oh man does the Droid make up for it. Sure, there’s a little hype sprinkled in because this is the first Android 2.0 device I’ve had the pleasure of using, but once you move past the initial “wow” factor, the Droid really delivers. Whether it’s Verizon’s ad campaign or Motorola’s that pits the Droid against the iPhone it doesn’t matter. The Droid isn’t an iPhone competitor because nothing at this point in time is an iPhone competitor besides the new iPhone. And things don’t have to be right now. Everyone can eat. So will the Motorola Droid be successful? Absolutely, we think. It will eat in to BlackBerry sales, Windows Mobile sales, and positively murder any lingering Palm Pre sales. It’s that good.
The Droid is the first handset that has actually made me pay attention to the Android scene. The Boy Genius notes the hype surrounding the device and quite frankly, that could be the reason I’m finally paying attention. But from what I’ve seen, the device looks good. I do agree with the Boy Genius though, nothing really competes with the iPhone at this point. Apple has found their market share and will continue to sell new phones to those customers, everyone else is left fighting for the remainder of the market.
The Boy Genius Report appears to have removed the page from their website, so I’ve linked to a Google cached version of the page.
Update 10/29/09: Motorola DROID
Update 11/8/09: HTC DROID Eris