Friday was the release date for two Google phones, called Droids, with Verizon Wireless. Both phones run Google’s Android Operating System and both look like they’re the start of some exciting mobile options for Verizon customers. Both phones, the Droid Eris by HTC and the Droid by Motorola, are both phones similar looking to an iPhone with large touch screen interfaces.
This is not surprising, as Apple’s iPhone is likely going to be the main competition for this new deal between Verizon and Google. The initial buzz surrounding these new Droids is positive. They’re powerful phones, with plenty of hard drive space and a good camera. They feature
QWERTY keyboards, WiFi, Flash, all the standard social application abilities, and a growing app library called Android Market. Predictably, the phones all include a full suite of Google features, such as Latitude, Gmail, Search and YouTube and Picasa. The Droid is supposedly the world’s thinnest QWERTY slider.
Presumably these are the first in a line of phones released for Verizon that will feature Google’s Android OS. Their main rival would appear to be the iPhone, and their first strike appears to be a good one. Apple has a head start, something that is very helpful in terms of available apps for download, but with the huge amount of Verizon customers now potential customers, I’m sure the Android Market will be growing fast. Couple this with the better coverage area and reception Verizon offers compared to AT&T and Apple could be in trouble.
Still, these are the first Droids on the market. They are the version 1.0 of the Google and Verizon deal. Similar to the initial version of C3PO that Anakin Skywalker was working on in Episode One of Star Wars, these are the first thoughts of what a phone equipped with Google and Android can do. As they refine what a phone can, and should, do the Droids will be even more exciting. Much like generation one iPhones still can’t do SMS these Droids are the first step in a long process of development. There will likely be bugs, and quirks, and things that just don’t feel right. My initial thoughts on the bigger Droid were that it looked a little boxy, and not quite as sleek as it could be.
The main thing to note here is that Verizon customers never had an option for an iPhone, or a G1 Google phone. Whether it was contracts, perks, quality or loyalty keeping customers with Verizon, the choices were between a couple of blackberries and a handful of Windows Mobile smartphones. Few of those options compare to an iPhone, or these new Droids. Now Apple may be hurt by keeping the iPhone exclusively with AT&T, when millions more would’ve purchased one given the option with another carrier.