updated 01:45 am EDT, Sun October 18, 2009
Verizon launches DroidDoes ad
As promised, Verizon tonight launched a commercial and a matching ad campaign, DroidDoes, that together attack the iPhone. The reveal (video available below) centers on the upcoming Motorola Droid and sets it up as the direct rival to Apple's hardware, offering exactly what its competitor is lacking: as an Android device, the Droid will have customized home screens, multitasking, open development and widgets. It also gets a hardware keyboard and a replaceable battery.
The posting also confirms more specific traits of the Droid itself, including its 5-megapixel camera, an 800x480 display, and that it will use Android 2.0. Google's next-generation release is expected to bring deep integration of Facebook, double-tap gestures, speech recognition and text-to-speech for features such as turn-by-turn GPS, and a YouTube widget for playing web video directly from the home screen. EVDO-based 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi should be part of the design, which like the G1 slides the screen away to reveal the keyboard.
The ads are expected to show much more frequently from Sunday onwards and mark a distinct reversal of Verizon's smartphone marketing efforts. In late 2008, it heavily promoted the BlackBerry Storm but largely avoided direct confrontation with Apple outside of training staff to answer questions; it had also maintained Verizon's traditionally restrictive policies, such as its decision to omit Wi-Fi on the Storm and most other handsets. Its new campaign not only appears to downplay the BlackBerry Storm2's imminent release altogether but is more directly confrontational with Apple and mirrors a turnaround in policy of recent months. The change in attitude has included the acceptance of Wi-Fi as well as a greater willingness to give control to handset makers rather than insist on its own software and features.
An official unveiling for the Droid is now confirmed as due on October 30th, though the new spot has the phone available in November.