2009.10.19

On the Motorola Droid

It should be no surprise that Verizon would invest in Android, given the onslaught that AT&T’s exclusivity with the iPhone has brought to everyone, despite the fact that Verizon’s network is superior to AT&T’s, the fact that it has a number of popular handsets and services etc.

And while Europe remains the place where mobile telephony reigns, it is the United States and Asia, with HTC, Apple and Google providing great next-generation devices and Nokia — the reigning king — becoming increasingly irrelevant where it matters: profits, mindshare and innovation.

The new Motorola Droid, a phone launched by Verizon and developed in collaboration with Motorola and Google as its own ‘iPhone killer’ is the first to feature Android 2.0 and a seemingly powerful device in terms of hardware features. Expected to be using the same CPU family as the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre, an ARM Cortex A8 processor and most probably the powerful OMAP3430 by Texas Instruments, the Droid features a high-resolution display and an assortment of features that puts its firmly in N900 territory and far exceed those of the iPhone 3GS. That’s as far as the hardware is concerned, because in the software realm things are so much better than Nokia’s half-baked, joke of an environment and network platform (Ovi). Even before launch, the Android platform is rapidly gaining ground in terms of application availability; with its modern APIs and evolving feature-set make it a great adversary; software matters as the iPhone has demonstrated, with its superior UI and the vast library of applications — more than 85,000 of them as of late September 2009, a massive number compared to 10,000 for the Android and only 2,000 for the BlackBerry.

The Droid logoSo how is the Motorola Droid going to compare with the iPhone, the BlackBerry (especially the latest Storm 2) and the competing Android offerings by other manufacturers? I guess it’s going to do pretty well in the United States, especially if Verizon holds its on in terms of marketing and sales. To me ‘Droid’ looks retro. Typical of the stuff that I’m used to seeing from Motorola; this doesn’t necessarily mean that the device is bad and I would refrain from passing judgement about its appeal until actually using one.
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