Blog Post

Verizon Attacks iPhone With “Droid”

droid_does_adOver the weekend, Verizon (s vz) launched its second attack against the iPhone (s aapl), a condescending teaser for an upcoming Android-based phone, Droid. However, unlike the first ad, which rightfully attacked AT&T’s (s att) anemic network coverage and dependability, the Droid ad goes after the iPhone.

According to Verizon, the iPhone doesn’t:

  • have a real keyboard
  • run simultaneous apps
  • take 5-megapixel pictures
  • customize
  • run widgets
  • allow open development
  • take pictures in the dark
  • have interchangeable batteries

That’s it? It’s like this ad is from 2007, what with the keyboard and battery complaints. People don’t care. In fact, touchscreen is now a desired feature on smartphones according to research. Besides those tired bromides, Verizon nitpicks the camera and appeals to nerds over multi-tasking and philosophical differences concerning development.

The latter is especially hilarious, because until the success of Apple’s App Store, Verizon not only told developers what they could sell, but how much they could charge. The company is currently planning a new store that, while not technically excluding competitors, aggregates content under its own store. How open of them, but what about the Droid itself?

Besides the fact that it’s an Android 2.0 phone to be released sometime in November, we don’t know much. The ad cuts from the “iDon’t” list accompanied by cheery background music to static-laden cut scenes possibly suggesting some kind of techno-future in which “droids” rule the iWorld. Beyond that, there are a few vague adjectives like hi-res, hi-speed, video, tunes. As for concrete features, how about speech recognition and 10,000 plus apps. It’s actually kind of sad to see Verizon forced to advertise the comparative dearth of Android apps to the Apple App Store because the latter simply cannot be ignored when advertising smartphones anymore.

In fact, the whole “iDon’t” concept reminds me of an ad from the console wars during the last millennium. Back then, Sega launched a “Nintendon’t!” campaign highlighting the many perceived failures of the Super NES when compared to the Genesis. We all know how that turned out. Whether you call it an iPhone clone or a droid, I don’t expect this war to be any different.

71 Responses to “Verizon Attacks iPhone With “Droid””

  1. I agree verizon has the best network easily even sprint is passing at&t they need to get there act together there beefing up there 3g network while sprint and verizon will be rolling 4g out at some point next year and even sprint has 4g in some major cities as we speak just no 4g phones yet at&t is a joke

  2. CDMA is a dead end system and is on the way out and hooking up with VZ now means having to buy a new phone when they transition to LTE.

    So buyers beware.

    Adam what are you talking about LTE Will not be required until the entire network is up and if you know anything about cell technology the usa will not be covered until at least 2013 if they are lucky everyone knows verizon will not have LTE ready for 2010 so you will not need a new phone i know a women that works for verizon and she has confirmed this for me

  3. Charles BBQ

    here in Austin, the ATT network is the pits.. I like the iphone but my friends who own them complain about dropped calls all the time.. Some of us want some apps and to maintain contact .. Land lines sucked but they rarely dropped a call .. (not sure what that last comment meant to convey).. Seriously, bad network in Austin…

    • Verzion is the best network if you dont want dropped calls. I have the blackberry storm and it in my eyes is comparable to the i phone, so maybe you should consider switching to Verzion. Also the new blackberry offers wifi which is key in the event that you dont have phone service but have internet service.

  4. I really do not think there is a market for this consider the blackberry devices and the apple i phone. Nobody in their right mind would go from an i-phone to a driod simply because it would cost them and the phone is any better than the i-phone infact i believe the i-phone is a better device. On the other hand noone with a blackberry is going to switch becuase many people use that as their work phone and most companies are not going to switch from blackberries to driods with the drop of a hat. So overall the driod has little market share and i think it be a big disappointment for the verzion corporation.

  5. Verizon’s major advantage is that it offers the Verizon network. I’ve used both Verizon and AT&T and there is no comparison between the two; Verizon is vastly superior. For me, where I have to choose between better hardware and a better network, I have to go with the latter. After all, the first job of a phone is to be a phone, not an ipod or a game machine.

  6. iDon’t have a real keyboard – and I don’t need one. Heck, who does?
    iDon’t run simultaneous apps – and who really needs that on a phone?
    iDon’t take 5-megapixel pictures – but I shoot video, and I have apps for editing photos and videos.
    iDon’t customize – but a phone isn’t there for customizing stuff.
    iDon’t run widgets – but I run apps. Lots of apps.
    iDon’t allow open development – but the professionals do their job well.
    iDon’t take pictures in the dark – but did I mention the video shooting and the editing apps?
    iDon’t have interchangeable batteries – but somehow users have no problem with that.

  7. Howie Isaacks

    I don’t want a physical keyboard! That’s archaic. Anyone who hasn’t gotten used to the iPhone’s touch screen needs to just get a damned BlackBerry.

    Verizon and the other carriers have the luxury right now of being able to sit back and attack the iPhone AFTER it has been on the market for over 2 years. They have the iPhone as the standard to improve upon. What did they have before that? Nothing! The iPhone has raised the bar for features and performance. So what if they come out with something that has some features that improve upon the iPhone? Apple will simply release another groundbreaking product later on that will send everyone else back to the drawing board. Also, Verizon should tread lightly if they ever hope to get the iPhone on their own network. AT&T is the one who suck ass, not Apple. Apple gave us a kick ass phone, but AT&T has failed Apple, and its customers.

    • katiepea

      name one feature the iphone “raised the bar for” please, if you ask me the iphone is still playing catch-up as far as features go, why do the majority of apple owners act like they’re in some elite club? is it some sort of justification and re-assurance that the higher prices they’ve paid has assured them a higher quality product than the rest of the public? these arguments translate even over to actual computers, mac owners acting like their boxes are of some higher quality than windows machines. most never realizing the hardware is identical. sorry man but the iphone didn’t set any sort of bar, outside of sales and marketing.

  8. Does ANY phone take good pictures in the dark???

    I mean I love the “always with me” aspect of a camera phone, but I’ve yet to see one anywhere that was good enough to make sell my point and shoot digicam.

    • Howie Isaacks

      Who cares about taking pictures in the dark??? That’s not something I’m going to consider when buying a cell phone. I also don’t give a damn about a physical keyboard.

  9. Gotta take ads like this with a grain of salt. Kind of like the last Apple ad that said all day battery life didn’t exist before Apple invented it. Every company does it. Verizon does have valid points as to how andriod can be better than the iphone, but that doesn’t mean the overall package or expeience will be better.

    • Verizon already refers to any non-Verizon Blackberry as a “paperweight”. They’re indiscriminate in their bashing, and will have no issue praising the iPhone to the hilt if Apple would allow it on their no-data-and-voice-simultaneously network.

  10. I want an iPhone. But no keyboard is a problem. As is multi tasking. I have not upgraded my E61 which is 5 years old for that reason. I want one – but you can’t do work with an iPhone. It is too toy and entertainment like. I’d like an iTouch to stick to the back of an E72 – that may be the only way to go.

    • Multi-tasking, although a ‘nice-to-have’, actually doesn’t prove that much of a problem for working on. I’ve had various Blackberry & Symbian phones over the previous years before I got an iPhone, and to be honest I can’t say I notice the difference. Like you I was incredibly sceptical about the keyboard and struggled without a ‘real’ keyboard for a while. The combination of familiarity, improved auto-type and horizontal keyboard everywhere (almost) means I can now bash things out on it every bit as quickly as I did before, maybe even quicker. YMMV.

    • “I want one – but you can’t do work with an iPhone. It is too toy and entertainment like.”

      What is this, 1985? If you don’t want a device that can work AND entertain, fine. But the idea that a phone has to be one or the other is nonsense.

      As for the keyboard, a software keyboard is part and parcel of the interface for hand-held touch screen devices. More and more of them will come this way, and the choices available with hardware keyboards will diminish. Those clinging to hardware KBs also tried running GUIs without a mouse. It “works”, but you’re not getting an ideal experience.

      The biggest hold up to more adaption right now is the time/resources necessary to write a good software keyboard. Late to market, other manufacturers need to slap on a hardware one, and then just claim it’s a feature to cover how far behind the development curve they are.

    • Or not. I have a macbook and I love it. However I have an HTC Hero running android 1.5 and also love that.

      It does everything an iPhone can (except connect to my work exchange but 1st gen iPhones couldn’t either, though for a different reason), has a very good selection of quality apps (but yes it’s still hard to find them in the mire of crap in the market just like app store) and also has some apps that iPhone never will (and some that I want/need are far cheaper in the market than the App equivalent).

      I pay about £15 less a month and £100 less upfront than I would do for the equivalent iPhone plan. That’s over £450 over the 2 year contract.

      So just because I own a mac and read TAB doesn’t mean I have to be blinkered and HAVE to own all apple gear. This time the Android phone made more sense for me. Maybe not you but that’s why we have choice.

      Android may not be perfect but be under no illusion that the iPhone is.

  11. The problem with specs is that they say nothing of user experience. There’s plenty of phones that have shiny, impressive specs, but in reality, using them is not nearly as nice as using an iphone. It’s really that simple. That’s why I chose an iphone instead of anything else.

    As for most people have 50 apps on their phone? I don’t know. I own 183 apps and I have 149 currently on my phone. That’s 81% of the apps I own. Maybe I just have better judgment when it comes to buying quality apps that I’ll continue to use than you are, Igor.

  12. Dave1010

    ATT has some pretty spotty service and the for people who need a reliable PHONE, the DROID and Verizon will be a good option.

    Verizon policies usually suck but the network is everywhere.

  13. Another proclaimed iphone killer….oh-hum. I guess we will have to wait for the dust to settle on this one…too!

    I’m on my 2nd iphone. I went from the original to the 3Gs. I haven’t seen anything out there yet that make me want to jump ship!

  14. Stan Scott

    Yes, I own an iPhone, but the ad is just terrible. The text items go by quickly, and can’t really be absorbed by non-tech people. It simply fails as a means to convince a consumer to buy the… what?

    I’m assuming they can’t just show the phone and what it can do. It works superbly for Apple — if another phone has such great features, they should try that.

  15. Honestly all the people who try to justify not owning an iPhone are just in denial or they don’t want to fork over the extra money for a data plan. The iPhone is the best cell phone available today hands down. And yes it might not do a small number of very specific things as well as other phones it does do most of them and most of the other things it can do even better than other phones.

    • katiepea

      sorry again, but honestly you’re very wrong, i sold my iphone after having it for 2 years and went with blackberry. i feel like i got more for my money, and the phone is a much more enjoyable experience. this is typical apple user experience though, yes the iphone is a nice phone, yes thats the extent of it. it’s pretty, its not impressive, and it lacks fuctionality that has been in every other cell phone for the last 10 years. it’s an infant compared to other models in it’s price category, both RIM and Nokia have EXTREMELY more functional devices, and both sell better too, and honestly, the only thing the iphone did better than a blackberry was browse the web, and its only better speed wise, RIM just bought a webkit browser company, so i’d say even those days are numbered.

  16. Verizon’s desperate. Even amidst all their 2-for-1 Blackberry giveaways the iPhone still ate the smartphone world’s lunch.

    Nobody cares about the network if the devices you offer for it are crap. Even the brand new Android devices are a generation behind the iPhone.

    Besides, Verizon’s phones have plenty of their own iDon’ts.

    • “Nobody cares about the network” ?!? Actually everyone should. It was Apple’s biggest mistake with the iPhone hands down. AT&Ts network is one of the worst. I can’t tell you how many iPhone owners I know who have sold it because they couldn’t handle AT&T.

  17. I am not a fanboy or a basher, but I am a Verizon customer who has been dying for an iPhone, but seriously have no interest in switching to AT&T. If the iPhone is not going to be in the Verizon future, this may be the direction I end up going. The Droid is not the iPhone, but then again, AT&T is not Verizon.

    • Dude! thats exactly what I was thinking. I have a verizon phone right now, and the majority of my friends are on verizon. This means free texting etc to people on the network (can’t do on AT&T). I was hoping that the iphone would come to verizon…or at least that AT&T would stop having a monopoly over it. There’s just a few questions that I had about it..
      1. I have a mac computer (i’m using it to write these now) would I be able to have the droid be compatable with it?
      2. And what about itunes. almost all of my music is itunes (majority with retarted security “no sharing” stuff)

      I guess I could always run parallels, but what a hassle.
      If anyone can answer it would be greatly appreciated.

  18. katiepea

    touchscreen is desired, at first, then disliked, the iphone is undoubtably huge, but i think many adopters are now looking elsewhere, i, as well as 5 other people i know have sold ours, in venture for RIM or Android devices, that simply out perform and function the iphone, sans touchscreen for me.

  19. I was wondering how long it would take before the term “Apple fanboy” was used to solidify someones *oh* so intellectual response. I see that didn’t take long at all. Give me a break.

  20. So many fallacies… first, 10,000 is not a “dearth” of apps. Every Apple fanboy knows but doesn’t want to consciously admit, that most apps in the Apps Store are junk and only a tiny fraction are useful and make money for developers. Most people have less than 50 apps on their phone and ALL the major apps are available on Android. Also, touchscreen phones are only half the smartphone market. The vast majority of business users prefer hard keyboards and apple fanboys cannot admit this.

    • thecizco

      What’s with the apple bashing and fanboy name calling on an APPLE blog? I’ve seen many of your other comments, if you really don’t like Apple (which it seems) then what are you doing on this blog in the first place?

    • katiepea

      i love apple, a lot, apple tv, macbooks, imac, ipods, i HATE the iphone, i spent 2 years waiting on it to do SOMETHING i wanted it to / or something new, it failed me. BlackBerry from now on for me.

    • Sometimes fanboys need a reality check. A lot of choice is out there, and the iPhone is not head and shoulders above it. TAB isn’t as bad as TUAW and some other sites I’ve read, but some people are all too ready to dismiss any reasonable objection to the Apple status quo, as if they are better off with a phone without background apps, flash (in the browser or on the camera), and buried-away notifications.