Motorola’s Milestone (The U.K.’s Droid) Flies Off The Virtual Shelves

Some very positive news for Motorola (NYSE: MOT) as we head into the weekend … Online retailer eXpansys says that the Milestone — the U.K.-version of the Droid — sold out in just three hours. eXpansys is the exclusive seller of the handset; the company said it had received well over 1,000 pre-orders for the Milestone a week before it went on sale. eXpansis expects a second shipment of Milestones to arrive in time for holiday orders.

No hard numbers, but CEO Roger Butterworth told Pocket-lint it “was the fastest selling gadget in the website’s 11-year history, even more successful than the iPhone.” For context, analysts estimated that Motorola sold around 100,000 of its Droid handsets here in the U.S. on its opening weekend.

Meanwhile, the Droid/Milestone got a big dose of positive press from *Time* magazine, which named it the “gadget of the year” as part of its “Top 10 of Everything in 2009” list. “It’s Android’s first credible challenge to the iPhone,” wrote Lev Grossman and Peter Ha.

Though the Time nod isn’t likely to sway technophiles and gadget-geeks — since they’re not the publication’s target audience — it could help boost the Droid’s long-term sales appeal with less tech-savvy buyers (though … not women, since Verizon is hyping it as a “manly” phone).