Full disclosure. I haven’t touched a Droid yet. I have an iPod Touch and use a Palm Pre as my everyday device.
Here is my humble opinion.
The Motorola Droid will sell well. Not awesome, but well. There is a lot of pent up demand from those locked into Verizon who wanted a serious smart phone, and they definitely get it here.
I see very few people dumping an iPhone to switch to this. Sure it has a few benefits, but it also has a fair number of weaknesses when compared, and nobody is switching carriers over the differences.The iPhone, and to a lesser extent, the Pre accomplish a difficult task. They provide a sexy phone with a fashionable design and something that is easy enough to use for your typical teenage, non-tech oriented women etc. Ladies pull out a Pre, and even more so a Pixi, and these phones go with their outfits. To a lesser extent (because they are usually surrounded by a fairly ugly case) the iPhone works for this as well.
Yet they pack enough power to allow a hardcore geek to be very happy also.
The Pre with the multitasking a little less, so as multitasking makes things more powerful but more complicated.
If it weren’t for copyrights and trademarks, they could have called the Motorola/Verizon Droid, the “Terminator” or the “Cylon” with Red Eye and robot voice. This is cool! Cool for geeks like me who grew up on Star Wars, Terminator, Battlestar Galactica, loving the Borg etc. Anybody working for “SyFy” will be getting in line to buy this phone.
But the ‘rest’ of the minions, I’m not so sure.
Everything about Droid technology and marketing is (including the ominous “I want to rip your head off” visuals and sounds) says….”You will be assimilated…”
The phone is fairly heavy, big, metallic and IMHO not a work of art to look at. Given that it has a slider keyboard, there will be a limited number of wraparound cases, so I wonder how practical it will be to whip out of a holster and use.
Android isn’t as easy to use as iPhone or WebOS. It also has less consistency, since so many apps don’t come from Google and thus some design inconsistencies exist. (like having a 5 way nav pad in a touch screen phone? Why use up the real estate and cramp up the keyboard?) Essentially the Droid is a UMPC with a cell phone chip in it to make voice calls. I just don’t see people like my wife, who are not a geeks, pulling out a tiny PC and using it quickly.
I think Verizon knows this, and that’s why Droid is a brand and not a phone. The new Eris, even in name, evokes a more feminine sound to it. I bet we see other Droid 2.0 phones in, possibly less powerful, but ‘prettier’ configurations with ‘dumbed down’ user interfaces. As it stands now, I don’t think Apple has a ton to worry about with this particular phone….Yet. I think they would go a long way to help their cause if they could get on Verizon as a carrier however.