updated 10:25 am EST, Tue November 10, 2009
Droid passes 100K units on first weekend
The Motorola Droid's quiet launch achieved just a tenth the sales of the iPhone 3GS, according to estimates by Broadpoint AmTech analyst Mark McKechnie. He determines in a note released yesterday that Verizon sold 100,000 of the Android phones on launch weekend, or just a fraction of the 1 million iPhone 3GS units that were sold when AT&T launched that device in June. The researcher also estimates that Verizon still had 100,000 Droids in stock by the end of Sunday where Apple's phone encountered weeks-long shortages, particularly outside of the US.
Although not at the high sales levels of Apple's device, McKechnie still sees the results as "encouraging" and believes that Motorola should sell about 1 million Android-based phones by the end of the year, most of which will be Droids but should also include the Cliq at T-Mobile and the international equivalents of both, the Milestone and the Dext.
The seemingly low numbers are helped by the US-only nature of the Droid launch, versus the eight-country initial release of the newer iPhone, as well as a pricing strategy that encouraged early buyers to visit Best Buy, Walmart and other retailers offering the phone without a rebate or at a lower final price. Many online orders also didn't reach customers until early this week.
Verizon nonetheless needs to avoid a sharp drop-off in sales as it has invested heavily in the Droid as its flagship phone for the holidays, including a concerted anti-iPhone TV campaign and three weeks of billboard-sized ads in Times Square. It has simultaneously tried to downplay its once-preferred partner RIM by de-emphasizing the BlackBerry Storm2 and Curve 8530.