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I just got off the phone with jkOnTheRun’s Kevin Tofel, and like every other geek, we were talking about Droid and its impact on the market. We were both wondering if Motorola’s release today of its Verizon-focused Droid handset killed the BlackBerry Storm2, the new version […]

storm2-horizontalI just got off the phone with jkOnTheRun’s Kevin Tofel, and like every other geek, we were talking about Droid and its impact on the market. We were both wondering if Motorola’s release today of its Verizon-focused Droid handset killed the BlackBerry Storm2, the new version of the touchscreen device which also launched today. My argument is that Droid and other Android-based devices are much closer to the BlackBerry and, thus, are a bigger threat to the Canadian giant than they are to Apple. One of our commenters thought so as well.

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RIM has sent us its latest device for review. I think it’s very brave to do that, because I have not necessarily been shy about my view of Storm and its touchscreen. I am going to play around with this and give you my first-hand impressions. What are your thoughts? Do you think Google’s Droid leaves RIM hurting?

Hat tip to Ronak for the Storm vs Android chart link on Google Trends.

  1. Google Trends: droid, storm2 http://j.mp/3F5rPX

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  2. Hard to see Droid taking a folks away from Apple no matter how bad ATT network is right now. Remember ATT had a net 2mill sub add last Q compared with 1.2 mill for Verizon. At best I think it becomes a steady state btw ATT and Verizon w.r.t the folks who might have compared iPhone vs Verizon’s offering. The big question as I have said before – is then where does Droid gets its customers ? Essentially it is battling for the existing Verizon customers who previously had to choose btw a bunch of blackberries and some other poor smartphones. The ones who will jump first would be the “consumer” folks who RIM had targetted. For them the Droid will be so much better. The enterprise folks will be slower of course but who knows…

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    1. 365 days ago ( when Android launched ) it would have been laughable to say:

      “Android will cause Garmin to lose $1 billion in market cap and send TomTom out of business.”

      From today’s Wall Street Journal: Shares of GPS Makers Plunge on Droid Launch
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703574604574501532799439254.html

      So

      “…Hard to see Droid taking a folks away from Apple no matter how bad ATT network is right now. Remember ATT had a net 2mill sub add last Q…”

      …”never say never!”

      ;)

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    2. I don’t think your assumption that this will attract/retain only existing Verizon customers is correct. I have read reviews on several tech sites (including a couple Apple-focused ones) and would say several dozen commenters stated they would be leaving their current provider for this device. I’m sure that’s an incredibly small sampling of the numbers that will follow. The decisions appeared to be largely based on the 2.0 OS coupled with Verizon’s network. I found this very impressive considering the very short period of time that has passed since the announcement of the alliance between Google and Verizon and subsequently this phone.

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    3. well budy im one of those iphone costumers that will be going back to verizon for the droid.im doing this for 2 reasons , 1 cause att network sucks, 2 i hate the fact that if something goes wrong with the phone i have to go to apple. dont get me wrong i love the iphone but it is on the wrong network. i am leaving att more because of att not because of the droid but i was just waiting for the right phone to come out and it has DROID BUDDY!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Absolutely RIM should be very weary of Android.. Microsoft Exchange support is a huge deal and the Google phone is just a better product.. Android will be in the Enterprise soon.

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    1. Android may, some day, make some inroads in the “big business” enterprise market but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. BlackBerry still has lots of advantages in this market. Some of the best physical keyboards, which for e-mailing enterprise users, is key. A business image – which, believe it or not, is also key. Blackberry Enterprise Server, and a large base of installed users – remember, big corporations don’t switch platforms lightly. It’s always some multi-year conversion process.

      Finally, BlackBerry has a variety of devices on a variety of carriers. This is key for big multinational corporations, as it allows users to choose a device that fits their individual needs AND choose a *carrier* that is best in their specific work location / where they travel. This is all easy because the IT department only has to support BlackBerries in general.

      Where Android COULD make inroads is in small business. BUT, it won’t in my view until it allows OUTLOOK SYNC *without* exchange. Running everything through Google’s cloud is fantastic for consumers, but business users overwhelmingly use Outlook and generally are NOT going to want their stuff in the cloud for security and other reasons. Every PDA going back to the original Palms has had support for Outlook sync. Why Google still hasn’t added it is beyond me. Google needs to, excuse the pun, get it’s head out of the cloud and support sync with desktop apps if it actually wants to compete for business users.

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      1. All android phones do have “work email” to sync with Microsoft exchange servers for push email. While this option unfortunately does not sync contacts and outlook calendar, there is the paid version of “touchdown”, which does everything. Syncs your exchange contacts, calendars, tasks etc etc..(and it uses activesync and is compatible with exchange 2003 and 2007). Overall, with a google based phone, you are surrendering your location, but then it is not as if all of us are into clandestine activities. Plus, there is always the option of not sharing your location with google.

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  4. I doubt the Droid will cause AT&T users to switch over to Verizon; however, I feel that the Droid will keep the Verizon customers on the Verizon network. I have had Verizon’s service for 6 years now, and I feel VZW’s coverage is unbeatable; however, I constantly thought to myself, “Maybe I should switch over to AT&T for the iPhone…”

    I don’t think Blackberries have much pull on the market, but they will keep the business-minded people that have fallen in love with them. Blackberries aren’t very appealing to the younger crowd; however, I feel the Droid will be. Though the Droid may not be comparable to the iPhone, one’s decision making will be leveled out by the superior Verizon coverage.

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  5. I believe that RIM has more to lose than Apple right now. There are an awful lot of non-corporate Blackberry users, and I was one. Apple will lose if they do not incorporate the mobile features that users want, but right now the experience is pretty solid.

    JD Powers placed Blackberry quality at a distant second to Apple. This is a better indication of happiness with the tools, than simply features. Windows Mobile is in for some trouble though, and Iā€™m not placing any bets on Palm.

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    1. I totally agree with you. The IPhone is not an option for me and I was an ATT user and switched to Verizon to buy he two Storm2 for $129.

      The IPhone is not for me because:
      1. No second battery
      2. Overpriced
      3. No insurance
      4. It syncs with Itunes, which I do not want, and it does not sync .doc, .xls and .pdf files.
      5. ATT Network for Data is not good for me.

      Many ATT people reluctantly got the IPhone because there was nothing else. However, with the Droids better screen and I do believe it syncs with the MS files and the huge amount of programs that will be available for android phones, Apple and ATT should worry.

      I am thinking about exchanging the Storm2s we have to the Motorola android.

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  6. [...] got nothing to worry about. Go out, have fun and get into the hands of a few more millions. As for the BlackBerry, its makers better be worried. Watch the unboxing video below the [...]

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  7. Just how weary is RIM already of the Droid platform? If you take a closer look at the Google trend page I linked to, the city that has search for droid the most is Waterloo, Canada… which just happens to be where RIM’s headquarters are. Worried much? It appears so.

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  8. Om wrote: “My argument is that Droid and other Android-based devices are much closer to the BlackBerry and, thus, are a bigger threat to the Canadian giant than they are to Apple.”

    Why would you think so? iPhone and Android phones are strictly consumer-oriented phones right now. Blackberry is more of an enterprise phone. I’d think iPhone and Android phones are going after the same demographic, than BB and Android.

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    1. Why would you think so? Hmm, I work in IT for a large US telco and just about everyone I know to include technology execs who have had the most interest in the Droid are those that are older extremely tech/spec oriented and NOT Apple fanboys. Additionally, while you’re spot on regarding iPhone being a “consumer-oriented phone”. You’ve missed the mark in assessing Verizon’s target market…”Tech/spec oriented early adopters, middle aged (emphasis on Facebook/Twitter) that have a sizable preference for Exchange support. I DO NOT see Verizon marketing the Droid to a teen, non tech-savvy consumer audience.
      I’m betting a secret deal was reached between Apple and Verizon to carry the iPhone AFTER they begin to move RIM/Blackberry from the number one market position and paving the way for iPhone to cinch it.
      - a current Verizon Blackberry Curve user looking forward to the Droid

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  9. I am actually about to switch from T-Mobile’s BB Curve to Verizon. My devices of choice are BB Storm 2 or Droid. Looks like I’ll be getting the Droid, mostly because of the physical keyboard and greater number of applications for Android (not the least, the new Google Navigation).

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