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Verizon ad pits Android against iPhone

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.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Bengt77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2003


    Palm Pre

    How ironic that a Palm Pre ad was shown next to the document when I read it.

  1. LEStudios


    Joined: Jul 2008


    Resistance is futile!

    They keep launch phone after phone and they all overall suck! Verizon is truly SOL!

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999


    And At the Headquarters of MS Mobile

    In other news, crickets could be heard outside the headquarters of Microsoft's Windows Mobile division, as the absence of media frenzy was deafening. Poor Microsoft has got to be feeling a little bit left out in all this.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007



    99% chance I'll stick with the iPod Touch/iPhone universe, but competitive pressure is good.

    As from Microsoft Win-dohs Mobile you are indeed wise, weasel.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Is data mining a concern?

    with 'deep' facebook integration & the mother of all search engines driving the systems?

  1. DanielSw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009


    Stupid ad

    Hard to follow. Didn't have time to digest its "brilliant logic". It assumes too much that the viewer already knows what it's talking about, and then, that they care at all about the iPhone's "don'ts".

    I never did like the Verizon logo. It's meaningless and harsh-looking. "Droid" seems to integrate with it in a similarly harsh and soul-less way. Nothing like the likable "droids" we know from "Star Wars."

    This thing's gonna flop as bad as the Seinfeld/Gates ads.

  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004


    iDon't care

    They are really stretching on some of these. iDon't need a "real" keyboard on my phone, and keypads aren't real keyboards, anyway. Widgets? Open development? They can't be serious, but they are. The iTunes App store vs. the Android Marketplace shows both of these to be irrelevant.

    I mean the pictures in the dark is the only thing they list that will register with teenagers who have or want iPhones, and then their dark sci-fi turn at the end to introduce their new branding will kill interest in most girls.

    On second thought, they are precisely marketing to the Linux-using basement dweller who would never buy an iPhone in the first place. This could be a safe bet for Verizon that the Droid won't tax their network, as this target market is small, and the said basement dwellers would primarily be using their own wi-fi networks. Brilliant!

    -- Len

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Down the Toilet

    The negatives-first approach is going to have the opposite effect with a lot of folks, especially those who aren't familiar (or only marginally familiar) with these features/capabilities and don't catch that the cutesy "iDon't" is really trying to say that "the iPhone don't." Those folks are going to think that the product being advertised doesn't do any of these things after all the "iDon't do this and that's."

    Regardless, I hope they sell just enough of them so reports begin coming in about how the Droid hangs, crashes, etc. with the apps-gone-wild approach.

    A lot of folks will be jiggling the handle after this one hits.

  1. zro

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Nov 2003


    I remember

    Sega tried this with Nintendo back in the SNES days. That turned out well.

    They had my attention until the droid bit started. Totally says it isn't a product for adults.


    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009


    Another iPhone Killer

    When the iPhone came out every competitor said that the low resolution camera, the lack removable battery, no flash, etc would make it just another flash it in the pan phone. I guess they were all amazed at the long lines and constant shortages.

    Now comes Droid and it is another iPhone killer - but remember those who kill can also be killed and the electronic highway is littered with the bodies iPhone Killers.

    Eventually someone will come out with a phone that will catch the fancy of the public as iPhone has - never say never - but that phone will have to stand on its own merits - and not on trying to be an iPhone killer.

    I say best of luck to Andriod and Droid and Verizon. Competition is always good and Verizon has pretty good service.

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