Verizon Feels The iPhone Heat

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    Posted: 05 November 2009 09:25 AM #31

    TanToday like your strategy, but Moto has more problems then the Droid can solve.  Andy Ihnatko has some thoughts on the Droid commercial.

    Verizon?s ubiquitous ?iDon?t? commercial has been peppering TV for weeks now. It makes two conventional mistakes in advertising. It?s not clear that it?s an ad for the Verizon Droid phone, a remarkable new handset made by Motorola and the first phone to ship with Version 2.0 of the Google Android mobile OS. It?s clearly designed to compete against iPhone.

    The second mistake? Its claims about the limitations of the iPhone are baloney.

    (Mostly.)

         
  • Posted: 05 November 2009 09:42 AM #32

    AppleInsider has a summary (and links) to the current batch of Droid reviews. Physical keyboard seems unpopular.

         
  • Posted: 05 November 2009 09:50 AM #33

    pats - 05 November 2009 01:25 PM

    TanToday like your strategy, but Moto has more problems then the Droid can solve.

    Andy also posted some side by side photos from the iPhone and the Droid on his flikr site. 3 megapixel iPhone up against the 5 megapixel Droid.

    You can find them here.

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  • Posted: 05 November 2009 01:49 PM #34

    The Droid is a fine phone. But it’s not a match for the iPhone.

    The problem isn’t the Droid. The problem is Verizon’s marketing and advertising effort. It should never have been compared to the iPhone.

         
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    Posted: 06 November 2009 11:24 AM #35

    Despite all the pre release promotion it looks like the actual launch is a meh from the people who matter customers.

      From Electronista

    Early reports have suggested relatively small lineups for the Droid at Verizon stores. Visitors to most stores have seen lines of several people or less, with others seeing no lineups even with later early opening 8AM openings. The midnight opening at Verizon’s 34th Street Manhattan store has also been described as modest, with one report so far suggesting that only 20 were in queue roughly an hour before it opened and no reports of the line growing much larger by 12AM.

         
  • Posted: 06 November 2009 12:00 PM #36

    I see the Droid as a competent product suffering from a disastrous marketing and advertising effort on the part of Verizon. More important than competing with the iPhone, Verizon needs to move existing customers from conventional cell plans to revenue rich voice and data plans. That’s been lost in Verizon’s marketing attack. Comparing the Droid to the iPhone is a loser. Positioning the product for existing customers as a step up from their current experience would have been a much more effective marketing plan.

         
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    Posted: 06 November 2009 12:21 PM #37

    DawnTreader - 06 November 2009 04:00 PM

    I see the Droid as a competent product suffering from a disastrous marketing and advertising effort on the part of Verizon. More important than competing with the iPhone, Verizon needs to move existing customers from conventional cell plans to revenue rich voice and data plans. That’s been lost in Verizon’s marketing attack. Comparing the Droid to the iPhone is a loser. Positioning the product for existing customers as a step up from their current experience would have been a much more effective marketing plan.

    I completely agree.  What genius decided it was in their best interest to draw DIRECT comparisons to the iPhone?  I heard a radio ad this morning drawing on the same theme: “In a world filled with I Don’t, Verizon is giving you a phone that Does” (paraphrased).

    I personally think the Droid is a great phone, from everything I’ve seen.  I use a lot of Google’s services, so having them tightly integrated into an OS would be convenient.  That’s the angle they should have taken.

    Apple has proved millions of times over (iPod, iPhone, MacBook), that people really don’t care about removable batteries.  From all accounts their “5 MP camera with flash” is crap.  The free turn by turn directions is a great selling point, but I still don’t think it’s practical to have your only cell phone be a dedicated navigation device.  People don’t care that you can hack a device and install anything on it.  That only appeals to a very small segment of the market.

    It’s great competition, and will make next year’s iPhone that much better.  But I agree Verizon messed this one up.

         
  • Posted: 06 November 2009 12:29 PM #38

    I elaborated a bit more on the point in a new Eventide post a few moments ago.

    Positioning the Droid as an iPhone competitor is a loser. Positioning the Droid as a competent solution for Verizon customers interested in moving to a smartphone solution would be much more effective IMHO.

         
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    Posted: 06 November 2009 12:36 PM #39

    I actually think Droid will sell relatively well for Verizon and slow the tide of switchers for Verizon.  ATT has enough issues with their network that folks who love Verizon will have a capable pocket computer phone at a reasonable price point.  The advertising IMO sucks.  The issue for Moto may be different depending on how much of a subsidy they could get for the handset.  The Droid is an unproven handset from a company which hasn’t had a hit in a while.  Did they demand a 300-400 subsidy from Verizon?  If the thing doesn’t sell well by Christmas Verizon will switch gears and look for something else and Motorola is unlikely to be making the margins on the Droid that Apple commands for the Iphone so in June when Apple unveils the next Iphone will Moto still be able to compete with a new design.  Apple could easily tighten their margins and make the other manufactures suffer if sales slow.  I find it interesting that the Droid only includes 512MB of NAND memory on board.  I suspect this is a result of Apple pretty much owning the NAND supply due to their pre-purchase agreement.

         
  • Posted: 06 November 2009 01:15 PM #40

    I was watching TV the other night with some friends, ranging in age from 24 to 65. The Droid commercial came on, the onewith the Stealth bombers with the payloads crashing into earth. When it was over I asked everyone to raise their hand who knew what the product being advertised was. No hands. I then asked who knew what the Droid was. No hands. When I explained that it was an Android phone, I only got blank stares. “Android, as in robot,” someone asked. No, I said, Android as in Google. More blank stares. Note: five of the people present had iPhones.

         
  • Posted: 06 November 2009 01:42 PM #41

    pats - 06 November 2009 04:36 PM

    I actually think Droid will sell relatively well for Verizon and slow the tide of switchers for Verizon.  ATT has enough issues with their network that folks who love Verizon will have a capable pocket computer phone at a reasonable price point.  The advertising IMO sucks.  The issue for Moto may be different depending on how much of a subsidy they could get for the handset.  The Droid is an unproven handset from a company which hasn’t had a hit in a while.  Did they demand a 300-400 subsidy from Verizon?  If the thing doesn’t sell well by Christmas Verizon will switch gears and look for something else and Motorola is unlikely to be making the margins on the Droid that Apple commands for the Iphone so in June when Apple unveils the next Iphone will Moto still be able to compete with a new design.  Apple could easily tighten their margins and make the other manufactures suffer if sales slow.  I find it interesting that the Droid only includes 512MB of NAND memory on board.  I suspect this is a result of Apple pretty much owning the NAND supply due to their pre-purchase agreement.

    I see the Droid realizing only tepid sales. Again, the marketing is a disaster. It’s being positioned as a geek phone rather than a product to entice existing Verizon customers to move up from conventional handsets. Verizon need to forget the iPhone for now and focus on migrating its won customers to voice and data services. I don’t see the ads appealing to consumers at large.

         
  • Posted: 06 November 2009 02:03 PM #42

    DawnTreader - 06 November 2009 05:42 PM

    I see the Droid realizing only tepid sales. Again, the marketing is a disaster. It’s being positioned as a geek phone rather than a product to entice existing Verizon customers to move up from conventional handsets. Verizon need to forget the iPhone for now and focus on migrating its won customers to voice and data services. I don’t see the ads appealing to consumers at large.

    The problem is that there is too large a geek quotient involved with this product.

    Firstly, as based on the original campaign, the device was obviously specced to do all those things that the iPhone didn’t do without considering why it didn’t don’t do them. So we have a feature phone with a set of “knock-out” features. This is kind of what Nokia, Sony and what Window’s Mobile were already doing to compete with the iPhone. And you know what? It didn’t work for them.

    Secondly, it looks like Google are seriously in need of someone like Steve Jobs to head up the Android project. From the reviews I have read, even the very positive ones such as Andy Ihnatko’s review for the Sun-Times have all said how inconsistent it is as an experience. Icons do one thing in one app and something completely different in another. So good luck selling that to real people.

    A phone is something that you want to use. Anything that gets in the way will be a source of frustration. Yes, the geeks will love it, for it’s spec, the “real” keyboard or for the fact that they are sticking it to “Jobs” but for the rest of the general public they just want to buy something that works irrespective of technical specifications.

    On another topic but slightly related, what is it with the PC crowd that are slagging off the app store for having too many apps as a downside when they were slagging off the Mac for the exact opposite reason a few short months ago. Goes to prove you just can’t win really.

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  • Posted: 06 November 2009 02:07 PM #43

    David Pogue on CNBC talking about Droid. Like the Google navigation app and alarm clock mode when docked.

         
  • Posted: 06 November 2009 02:11 PM #44

    I noted this about a week ago:

    1.  The Droid commercials fail to adequately identify what they ARE advertising.  After seeing it, if he does notice the name at the end, Joe Sixpack (who saw all the Starwars movies) is asking himself why he needs a robot.

    2.  I don’t think Joe cares about “open development” or even what it means.

         
  • Posted: 10 November 2009 02:19 PM #45

    If you think the Droid ads are lame, check out this Nokia N900 ad and ask yourself what Joe Sixpack will think.