The suspense over Verizon Wireless’ release date of the Droid phone is building, with Droid devotees getting a teaser on a Web site referring to a date as early as next week.
Visitors to the DroidDoes.com site see a series of foreign-looking symbols in a count-down timer type fashion. Folks at Phandroid.com did some sleuthing and figured out the dates to mean midnight Oct. 27 going into Oct. 28.
Exactly what form such a release takes is unclear. Verizon’s TV ads refer to a November date, which is what has been widely expected in the blogosphere.
A Verizon spokesperson was not immediately available. Historically, neither Verizon nor phone maker Motorola have specified a price or date for commercial availability.
In its advertising and marketing, Verizon touts the Droid as the best smartphone yet, seemingly admitting that previous attempts didn’t meet the bar. Thus far, Verizon hasn’t had a real strong contender in the smartphone category to answer the iPhone. The first Storm touch-screen device from Research In Motion (RIM) was a disappointment, although the upcoming Storm 2 is expected to solve a lot of software and other problems.
The Droid noise in commercials and online is giving Droid maker Motorola a much-needed boost. Visitors online who sign up for more information receive an e-mail saying: “You don’t need a smartphone, you need a supergenius in your pocket. A phone that listens better than the person on the other end of the call.” And just to be sure, there’s a reference to the 10,000+ apps in the Android Marketplace: “Apps of every shape and size.” Of course, the ad doesn’t mention the 85,000 or so apps in Apple’s popular App Store.
The e-mail message for Droid wannabes ends with: “You know there’s no phone like that. And it ticks you off. But there will be. Droid is coming.” The Droid site also touts the apps, the network, multitasking, hi-res, 5 megapixels, tunes, directions, speech recognition, video and Android 2.0 among the features.
Verizon of late has focused on “there’s a map for that” and the “iDon’t” themes when it comes to Apple’s iconic iPhone, available only with AT&T in the United States. The Droid marketing appears the most aggressive thus far from the carrier in answer to the iPhone.