Motorola is set to release the Droid on October 28th and has proclaimed themselves as the “iPhone killer” (as did the BlackBerry Storm) while some posit they are at least the newest hero in the mobile marketplace and others have declared it invalid altogether.
Let’s talk about some of the features and how it could or could not “kill” the iPhone.
The Droid has crowned itself a killer because of its technical features that supersede technical problems the iPhone has such as higher resolution images (taking pics even in low light), a real keyboard (hello!) and the ability to run multiple apps simultaneously. But is that enough for people that have spent hundreds of dollars on existing (and Droid incompatible) apps to ditch Apple? Absolutely not, BUT it is grounds for non iPhone users to jump on the anti-iPhone sentiment that is growing in volume.
Droid is more likely positioned to be a BlackBerry killer or a Palm Pre killer than it is an iPhone killer because those purchasing Apple products have an almost religious affinity for anything Apple and wouldn’t consider looking anywhere outside of the sexy looking, techno-music-playing, expensive, hipster Apple stores because of a particular *emotion* invoked as if they’ve made friends with a product and the staff behind that product.
The Motorola Droid has one massive advantage that does resonate in the technology industry- open development. That means that instead of the roadblocks and closed doors application developers have to go through to become anointed into the Mac App store, and instead of having to deal with the red tape of the Palm company clusterflip, developers are welcomed and encouraged to use the Droid platform openly. Typically, when the tech sector (led by very vocal app developers) rallies behind a product, the public inevitably follows.
The iPhone has long been hailed as the shiny object du jour, but as developers hop off the bandwagon, there is a chance that an informed public will follow suite, while those that don’t read blogs or care about news but like that their phone is sexy and has an Apple on it will likely stay put. The Droid isn’t going to kill anything, but it will take away enough market share to be a significant threat.
Verizon has made some interesting moves. First, on November 6, a second version of the Droid will be dropping. On top of that, it appears that Droid is not just the name of a device, but the name of an entire line to ‘i-Phone killing’ phones.
The use of the name ‘Droids’ – which are robots seen in Star Wars and several other sci-fi movies is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.. Off the bat, that gives the whole thing an uber-geeky feel.
And perhaps the biggest negative of them all is the fact that the inaugural Droid is manufactured by Motorola, not exactly the biggest crowd favorite when it comes to phone functionality satisfaction. Couple that with the fact that Verizon has kept a bigger padlock on their devices than most wireless carriers, and you can understand why this blogger – and many others – are skeptical.
I guess we’ll have our answer in a few days…
Actually, I won’t have my answer in a few a days because I’m stuck with the LG Dare for another year! Bummer.