If you read the reviews, it becomes obvious that I am part of a small minority of folks who haven’t been blown away by the new Droid, a Google Android OS-based smartphone made by Motorola that Verizon Wireless launched Nov. 5 in the U.S. All the […]

If you read the reviews, it becomes obvious that I am part of a small minority of folks who haven’t been blown away by the new Droid, a Google Android OS-based smartphone made by Motorola that Verizon Wireless launched Nov. 5 in the U.S. All the accolades are actually turning into smashing sales for the Droid, according to data collected by Flurry, a San Francisco-based mobile analytics company. How big are the sales? (Find out below the fold.)

We have been following the Droid pretty closely, and once we learned that the device had a solid (if not blockbuster) weekend, we decided to get a better grasp of the Droid-fever that seems to be spreading across the nation. Flurry, which tracks the usage of mobile applications across various platforms, ran a query at our behest to get us a clearer (if not totally accurate) picture of the Droid launch and its market penetration.

droidlaunch.pngFlurry has come up with a stunning number: 250,000 Droids sold in the first week vs. 1.6 million iPhone 3GS devices sold in the first weekend. Apple said it sold over a million devices in the first weekend of the launch of iPhone 3GS, so 1.6 million is pretty close to the mark. There has been talk that nearly 200,000 units of Droid were on the shelves at the time its debut, so it is not far-fetched to peg the total sales for the week at 250,000. (Related post: “iPhone 3GS vs. Droid: How Do They Really Stack Up?”)

Flurry monitors about 10,000 apps across iPhone and Android and claims that it tracks apps on approximately two out of three unique iPhone and Android handsets. To estimate first week sales totals for the myTouch 3G, Droid and iPhone 3GS, Flurry detected new handsets within its system, and then made adjustments to account for varying levels of Flurry application penetration by handset. Flurry additionally cross-checked its estimates against Apple actual sales, released for the iPhone 3GS, which totaled 1 million units sold over the three days of sales, June 19-21. [Flurry statement]

If Flurry results are accurate, then Motorola and Verizon have a winner on their hands. This is the fastest-selling Android device to date. It also helps that Motorola and Verizon have budgeted $100 million to promote it. As the gadget makes it way across the world, one can expect sales of Droid to go higher. Motorola predicts it will sell a million units by the end of 2009. That works to about $100 per customer in acquisition costs for Motorola and Verizon. (Related posts: “What You Need to Know About the Droid” and “What Are the Downsides to Droid?”)

The average Android app session length is about four minutes vs. two minutes for iPhone apps, Flurry found. I believe that is because the Android apps are not as intuitive to use as the iPhone apps, but hey, that’s just me. What do I know — I don’t think Droid is that hot, and it sold a quarter million units in week one.

PS: Check out this great comment from one of our readers, Nicholas. “Currently, we are witnessing the evolution of mobile technologies past the computing paradigm of laptops, desktops and workstations, and Motorola needs a more cohesive idea of what can and will be accomplished in the mobile space,” he writes. Agreed — and that is why I find MotoBlur, the company’s communications-based interface, more interesting than its hardware. It could, with some work, become the new way of consuming large amounts of data.

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  1. not a fair comparison to compare thr droid with the stupid iphone with no keyboard…this is the first droid iphone has been out for years…give the droid the same amount of time and it will kill the iphone….

    iphone screen keyboard sucks you type incoherent crap all the time

    can only run one app

    droid took all the drawbacks of the iphone got rid of them and made a great phone that no one will be able to touch for along time

    1. Totally agree, the keyboard on the iPhone is a serious shortcoming. It severely handicaps the device. Perhaps some people can get past it, but after 2+ years I still can’t… It’s a toy.

      One can’t help but think this is part of a pretty serious form over function mantra at AAPL.

    2. As someone that just ditched their Android phone for an iPhone, I can say that you are completely full of cow pies. The iPhone keyboard only ‘sucks’ if you’re a complete idiot that can’t control your own fingers. The software keyboard that most Android phones use is slower, less responsive, and more difficult to use. Even the hardware keyboard on the Droid is difficult to use because they mashed the keys together.

      And really, give up on the “can only run one app” garbage. Android gets so bogged down that it’s unusable if you have even a couple simple apps open. Droid is not all that. Android is turning out to be far less ‘open’ than we thought, and Google doesn’t seem to care. The bug list got another 2 miles long when people started using the Droid.
      Face it. Android is a mess. Verizon has 2.0, T-Mobile is still on 1.6, devices are still shipping with 1.5 and there are devices that might not even be able to upgrade to 2.0, further fragmenting the market. The apps are often crap versions that lack half the features the iPhone apps do. The low barrier to the Android Market is more of a problem than anything.
      I gave up on Android and am happy to have done so.

      1. The multiple running apps thing isn’t a problem… if you know how to hit end all.. its actually kind of nice to quickly switch between different apps… leave your navigation running while you take a call/send a text/ etc… not to mention not losing the state of the game when the call comes in or you stop to read your email and open up a web link.

      2. I completely agree with you, however I’m not saying the iPhone is perfect. I’m so tired of reading “you can run multiple apps”, yay for you! How many apps can you use at the same time? Oh yeah…only one. How many can you use on the iPhone at the same time? One. There’s no comparison here, you can run multiple apps on a BlackBerry too but when it comes down to it you really can only use one at a time. I’m not bashing Droid, I’m talking facts here! It’s common sense really, people say “Droids better because…you can run multiple apps, 5.0MP camera….(the list goes on)”. There’s no comparison here, it’s been all over that the camera is having problems and multiple apps are great but still the reality is you can only use one at a time.

      3. Sounds like you have a complete misunderstanding of Verizon Android Devices, or maybe you have not even tried one out hands-on. I have none of the “issues” you complained about with mine. Like you said about being an “idiot” if you can’t control your fingers on the keyboard of the iPhone, the same goes for using the hardware keyboard on the Droid devices!!

    3. The discussion of features and technologies needs to end, and we need a discussion of use. What do people do, and why is there a two minute difference. All of this is conjecture. I have used SE Ps, BlackBerries, Nokia tablets, and iPhones. The interface is what it is, and it functions for the needs. More critical to its adoption is the fact that a 2 year old can sit down and touch the screen resulting in an action.

      Both devices are great, but Apple’s problem now will be retaining developers as we move into viable mobile services. They have the best paradigm, even though I am digging through Android materials and hope that the SDK (WebKit also) becomes more sophisticated. Some would say the Moto keyboard is crap. It is what you prefer. Very simple!

    4. The Droid’s multitasking rules, you say? Try having a call and then fire up Google Maps to locate a restaurant or business as you’re talking with the person on the other end.

      YOU CAN’T. All that vaunted multi-tasking doesn’t allow you to make a call and use the Internet at the same time because Verizon’s CDMA network doesn’t support it

      Try streaming music (Pandora) or video, and see if you can receive incoming calls.

      As for the “inferiority” of the iPhone’s virtual keyboard, can the Droid’s keyboard switch instantly between English, Chinese (traditional or simplified), Japanese, Cyrillic, Portugese (with all those accents), Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, French, German and a Hal a dozen more language sets? iPhone can.

      Don’t you think the ability to switch between one’s native language and English is more important to the international business user than a crappy physical, non-adaptable keyboard? Maybe that’s why there are already 3 million iPhones in China despite the fact that all of them paid full price or a premium for a grey market iPhone.

      Once you see Chinese character entry on iPhone, no hard keyboard is going to stand a chance.

      One thing Apple does better than every other device maker is make their tech wonderfully usable for international customers. With Droid limited to English, it’s not going to work for a bilingual user like me and millions of other like customers.

      1. That’s a completely made up.

        I just had Pandora running and google maps, and received a call from another number, had the conversation got off the call, and pandora continued to play. No interruption.

        Don’t make things up.

      2. You probably had WiFi on. Internet data is streaming over WiFi while voice was over CDMA.

        Try turning WiFi off and doing making a call and firing up Pandora. Because such a thing is theoretically and technically impossible with CDMA.

      3. ridiculous.. pandora or imeem just goes quiet while you receive an incoming call

      4. That’s funny I’m commenting back to your lie whilst I’m on 3G on my Droid, and on hold with my employer from my phone right now (on speaker)… you might wanna know what you’re talking about before you open your dumb mouth. BTW, I’m not on WiFi… your post is fail.

      5. Yeah, but can it do Klingon?

      6. “YOU CAN’T. All that vaunted multi-tasking doesn’t allow you to make a call and use the Internet at the same time because Verizon’s CDMA network doesn’t support it”

        You might want to check your fact before posting false info. You CAN stream data receive voice call on a 3G network. 3G network is capable of multicast simultaneous voice and data.

        I’ve own every single PDAs/Blackberry that ever released to Verizon Wireless (perks of working in the IT). And I must say that Motorola Driod is by far the best phone I’ve ever own. I’ve used the iPhone for a short while with AT&T but at the time, I’m not sure if that has changed since, the iPhone did not have RDC client app. Plus the AT&T network was not so great where I live.

        From reading Lava’a post, it’s obvious that he has never owned a Droid. Just ignore his gibberish.

        I’ve own the Droid since the release date and I must say that if you have Task Killer apps and kill those million of windows you keep clicking, your phone wont ‘bogged down’.

        I absolutely love the RDC client. It is a great feeling to know that I wont have to run home while i’m out and about and find the nearest PC when there’s a problem at work. It’s like having a laptop in my pocket. I can restart the server, write SQL query at the same speed I would get from a desktop.

        That’s just my two cents.

    5. I couldn’t disagree more.

      It would be trivial for Apple to address many of it’s deficiencies with a software update, but, we are expecting them to make a major software and hardware refresh here in less than 7 months. the announcement will be mostly out well before that. Now, if you consider that a long time, then fine, I agree.

      Of course, I am watching the snapdragon Androids that should be coming any day now as passing the Droid even sooner.

      I think the Droid is great. Even keel with the iPhone 3GS, even though it lacks the polish and app quality that Apple has….but it’s NOT an iPhone killer. Moreover, once jail broken, the iPhone already has some of those drawbacks dealt with.

      Something else I am really concerned about is the software upgrade process with the Android sets. We are now not talking about phones, we are talking about advanced computers. The hardware on all these phones now is better than PII / PIII hardware. We have Androids with clockspeeds of a Ghz…what’s going to happen to these pocket computers?

      I want to see the OS separated from the tight phone integration so that Google can release new Android versions and everyone can upgrade.

      Apple and Palm upgrade the OS and all models will get the new OS…That’s what we are going to need from the hardware manufactures.

      I want to be pretty sure that I’m only forced to upgrade for better hardware…not because of software that would work just fine with the hardware I have.

    6. lol…seriously? you can go back and look at the 1st gen iphone and see that it ALSO destroyed droids release. the fact that the 3rd gen iphone is still annihilating the droid just goes to show that the LARGE MAJORITY of consumers disagree with your “i need a real keyboard” mentality.

  2. I have been using Droid for 10 days now and I’m not the type who exaggerates or over reacts but, it truly is an amazing phone. I really love the multi-tasking. On a recent road trip, we turned on the voice activated GPS and played mp3 songs on the phone at the same time for several hours. And it can answer phones too at the same time. Having a separate keyboard I initially thought was unnecessary but, it’s lot easier when responding to emails. Voice recognition for google search, navigation, contact search etc works great. In the past, phones have had a tough time recognizing my voice but this one works great. The number of apps comparison with iphone may be true but, I still found all the apps that I needed in the android market (which keeps growing day by day). Overall I think this is a good buy and IMHO the best phone in the market today.

    1. I can also use the GPS app and play mp3 songs on my iPhone. Wow!

      1. To be very clear, I should add – “at the same time.”

      2. @LoveDroid — yes you can use the iPod app (music) and any GPS app at the same time on the iPhone. Cheers…

      3. Yes Kevin, you can do it “at the same time” with the iPhone too. Contrary to the propaganda you have swallowed whole, the iPhone multitasks as well, just places certain restrictions presumably to conserve battery life.

        Written on my iPhone while simultaneously listenning to music…

      4. This point that Apple can multi-task is true but ONLY when Apple decides that you need it. Which means reserved for only Apple applications. A more correct statement is:

        I can also use the GPS app and listen to Pandora on my iPhone. Wow!

      5. Actually, quite a few apps allow you to listen to your playlists while using the app. I told the developers of Bejeweled for the iPhone that I was tired of listening to their boring repetitive sound effects while playing. Two weeks later they introduced a version that allowed listening to play lists. I have many other apps that do so as well.

  3. Wow. Two truly incompetent comments out of three. That skews the geek vs. working-for-a-living-making-marketing-and-sales-decisions equation more than usual.

  4. steven Burgess Monday, November 16, 2009

    Did some retail research over the weekend. Visited several stores to see where the Droid was and how it was merchandised. Answer – it was definitely in more places than the Pre upon launch, but merchandising was awful. Short story – at Best Buy, units were on display, but they were fake shells that fall apart when you picked them up. iPhone display next door – fully functional, operating devices. At Verizon store, one unit on display – operating. Right next to $99 HTC model. No in-store signage or promotion. This at Verizon store which is in highly affluent shopping mall and about the size of an Apple store. No one will beat Apple without proper merchandising.

  5. Om,
    First I do not give any credibility to those numbers. Last time around Verizon sold million plus Blackberry Storms. No one talks about the returns. Which is fair. When you talk about sales you don’t talk about returns.

    Second point , how on earth Flurry determines the usage? by putting an agent into those android Apps. Then doing what ? Sniff the unique data ? Like the ESN / MEID of the handset ? I doubt they are doing that.

    My only gripe with this is there are a ton of folks who rant to BestBuy and Verizon stores to play with the handset. And Play with the Android APPS. Many of these folks didn’t buy it. Assuming that the stats include usage from handsets located in the Verizon / BestBuy stores . You are taking few thousand stores and many handsets that are for display.

    I am not saying Verizon didn’t sell that many, but it will be a better argument if the actual numbers are released. So for only APPLE does that. Because they have nothing to hide and create hype.

    Last time I remember Verizon releasing STORM numbers , but this time they are playing the game like SPRINT , which never releases sales numbers for their top of the line phones , rather use “Top Selling” , “Best Selling in 10 years” , “Best selling 3G”…. .

    I wish the actual numbers be released by Verizon.

    1. I’m sure there’s a map for that…

  6. OM, if they had sold 250Kk of droids they would be shouting because it is a very credible figure and today is 16 Nov. nothing from them yet except more of the ATT and Apple bashing ads. Oh maybe the sale is so humongous that they need an army of accountants to tally them.

    As I said before these ads are good for ATT and Apple it will egg them on to provide better services and create greater products.

  7. 2 points to make here:

    1. I think the you have to remember when comparing the Apple Apps to Android Apps is that Apple had developers designing apps for the Ipod Touch long before the Iphone came to the market. Google/Motorola started with having developers design directly for the Android phones. So in all honesty, you are comparing the Ipod Touch to the Motorola Droid, in my opinion.

    2. How many apps, in either store, are duplicates? I do not own an Iphone or a Droid, but I do have a Ipod Touch, and when I look at the Apple App store, there are weather apps, calculators, calendar addons, mail readers, magic 8-balls, mood screens (where you put your finger on the screen and its supposed to tell you what mood you are in), etc. that have 150 duplicates that all do the same thing… Lets just assume there are 1,000 different apps that each have 20 or 25 duplicates that all do the same exact thing with a different flare to them, you are talking about have 20k to 25k apps that are duplicated. Then you can start talking about the truly worthless Apps like the magic 8 ball, fart machines, mood screens, etc… Fun or funny as they may be, there are duplicates of each of those also, all just as worthless as the others, other than allowing these phones to become more than just a business phone.

    Just my two cents.

    1. One of my guesses abot the time difference is that the apps that Android does have — Facebook, Twitter, etc. — skew the numbers. There aren’t a lot of 2 minute lighter apps or media apps. Between the NYTimes app and Facebook, I could drain my battery on the iPhone and never hit the weather widget.

    2. BillyS

      The iPod touch came out after the iPhone, not before. The original released iPhone did not have independent developers. The SKD – came later, and was available for both devices.

  8. First week sales only indicate how successful the marketing was and not how good the product is. iPhone (Good product + good marketing), BB Storm (Good marketing + bad product ), N97 (Bad product + bad marketing).
    If reviews are to go by, there are lot of people out there who are liking Droid and recommending it to others. So I do hope that it will be able to sustain the sales. It will also put pressure on manufacturers to send out updates for other Android devices which are still running on 1.5 and 1.6 devices.
    Somehow I have a feeling that SE X10 is going the N97 way. Great product on paper but bad implementation. X10 looks like SE’s last chance to get it right.

    1. There are also a lot of people specifically avoiding Apple in my experience. A friend said that she did not want an iPhone without any reasons, only to dis the G1. Sadly, developers are starting to feel the same way!

      And, SE better hope that the X10 is not their last chance! I have been a fan of the P series, but WinMo and now a proprietary skin to an older version of Android! This is the reason that an app interface — the basis of my comment at the end of the article above — is better than a skin. The app is portable the skin, nope! I wish SE luck, but they just repeated their past mistakes with UIQ.

      Boy, is your comment going to get some heat!

  9. Let’s say Apple really sold only 1.2m iPhones. That would mean Flurry overestimated by about 33% (partly attributed to those who try it but don’t buy it).

    Apply that 33% to Droid and we get about 185-190k, which is what I would expect given that Droid:
    1) has had a larger and sharper marketing push than any Android phone before it (plus all the Verizon AT&T/iPhone bashing ads that are helping to deter potential switchers),
    2) is on a US cellular network that is at least 2x larger than any other US cellular network that sold an Android phone previously, and
    3) Droid is better, overall, than any other Android phone before it, particularly because it has Android 2.0 and the Google GPS app.

  10. Hey thanks for the positive feedback! Interesting times…

    If anybody is in Chicago, stop by Mobile Monday tonight!


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