Why There Are No Droid Bionic Lines

The Motorola Droid Bionic launched yesterday after months and months of delays.

While we have seen an incredible amount of interest in the Droid Bionic from readers and Android fans, we didn’t see lines reaching around the block like we expect to see for the iPhone 5 launch.

While you can take this as the ultimate indicator in interest for the device, there are actually a few reasons that we didn’t have Droid Bionic lines, or for that matter, Android smartphone lines.

This comes from someone who has stood in too many lines for gadgets, including the original Motorola Droid.

Check out our Droid Bionic review to find out why you’ll want one even if you don’t want to stand in line.

Droid Bionic line

The Lack of a Droid Bionic Line Isn't a Surprise.

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Competition

One fo the biggest reasons that Android fans are avoiding lines right now is that there are way too many incredible phones on the horizon.

Even though we are enamored with the Droid Bionic, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to wait for October to buy the Droid Bionic. In just another month, you can compare the Droid Bionic to the iPhone 5, and likely a collection of devices like the Droid Prime and Nexus Prime.

By comparison, when the iPhone 5 launches, users can expect to wait at least another year for a new version to hit the market. By controlling the release cycle in a way Google can’t, Apple is able to create a frenzied atmosphere that results in lines and big first day sales.

Price

How much is the Motorola Droid Bionic? Well, if you bought it first thing in the morning on release day, it was $299 at Verizon, but then we also started to see discounts of $100 or more on the Droid Bionic. These deals got even better as Amazon lowered the price of the Bionic later in the day.

There’s no guarantee that if you buy the Bionic right now, you’ll pay less than the person who buys it this afternoon, or tomorrow. While we all accept that prices will drop, the unpredictable nature of Android phone pricing, especially on Verizon hurts the chances for a huge day one line and sales.

It didn’t help that Costco is going to offer a huge Droid Bionic bundle on September 13th.

iPhone 5 buyers, on the other hand, can purchase on day 1 knowing that the iPhone 5 will be $199 for quite some time, and in the off chance that Apple creates a major price drop on the hardware, the company will make things right with the customers.

Marketing

unlike Apple, which takes a simple, here’s our new phone and here’s what you can do with it approach to advertising, Verizon is bent on making Droid commercials inaccessible to the general public.

The latest Droid Bionic commercial has a lady ripping apart robots to create the Bionic. What you don’t get from the commercial is,

  • Why you need 4G
  • What the Bionic can do
  • What the Bionic looks like (seriously, no real images at all)
  • Why you should buy the Bionic

The commercial is so cookie cutter that you could put any phone in there and hope for success. Verizon needs to stop banking on these odd commercials and show up with an ad that my friends don’t describe as “creepy.”

If you want to help make that a possibility, Motorola is hosting a contest to create a better Droid Bionic commercial and is giving away a free Bionic and $25,000 in cash. I’m guessing you’ll have fewer special effects, but better selling points.If you can’t shoot a commercial, you can storyboard for a chance at prizes too.

 

There’s no shortage of Android users or Android fanboys and fangirls, but there’s just too much going on to get the users who would wait in line to their local stores for the Bionic.

  

Comments

  1. Joe Bada says

    Sorry Josh but you forgot 2 major other factors. The winners of the ARena contest are annouced “After” the launch day not before. I know I waited the 1st day just incase. But that is the minor reason of the 2. The major reason is that Costco will be selling it in a few days at the same price BUT with 4 extra accessories for free. So thats what im waiting for. Im sure there will be big lines for this at Costco, not historic big, yet still big indeed.

  2. Rachel says

    I’m not sure the marketing’s even cookie-cutter.  It seems aimed at adolescent sci-fi audience, ok we get the droid part, but there’s only so much of that a grown-up, especially female, can take.  And plus like you said, why not talk about the great features?  It’ll be interesting to see if Google will change that, I’m pretty sure they would.

  3. Rachel says

    I’m not sure the marketing’s even cookie-cutter.  It seems aimed at adolescent sci-fi audience, ok we get the droid part, but there’s only so much of that a grown-up, especially female, can take.  And plus like you said, why not talk about the great features?  It’ll be interesting to see if Google will change that, I’m pretty sure they would.

  4. Skuter says

    John Smith………..I purchased my Bionic yesterday at Costco………..there was a line of about 30 people………..they only got 6 phones to sell…………I was number 3……….there was a bunch of disappointed people………I paid $279 and got all of the accessories that are in that picture……….

    YOU really should do more research before you make such false claims…………

  5. Skuter says

    John Smith………..I purchased my Bionic yesterday at Costco………..there was a line of about 30 people………..they only got 6 phones to sell…………I was number 3……….there was a bunch of disappointed people………I paid $279 and got all of the accessories that are in that picture……….

    YOU really should do more research before you make such false claims…………

    • Xavier Lanier says

      Good to hear you grabbed one-  that’s the longest line I’ve heard of so far. This is yet another example of the difference between iPhone and Android phone launches. iPhone buyers are more than happy to fork over full price for their phones on launch day. It apparently takes what’s essentially a half-off sale to draw a crowd. 

  6. Jbell_34 says

    Its all about choice.  Bionic is ONE choice of Android.  Iphone is ONLY choice of Apple and seems to mysteriously always have less available at launch (publicity stunt imo) and people start to fear they wont get something the Jone’s have without realling knowing what they have.  Contrary to Pro Apple bloggers, the iphone always seems to barely up the ante from the previous version and iphone 5 can expect the same but that wont stop Apple folowers from standing in lines for it.

    By the way, i dig the commercial… 

    • Joe_piza13 says

      Also in the past the iphone has only been available at limited stores/places.  Android phones are available to buy at way more places.  Apple knows how to get the media attention for its products and when you get attention people become curious and feel like they’re missing out.

    • Joe_piza13 says

      Also in the past the iphone has only been available at limited stores/places.  Android phones are available to buy at way more places.  Apple knows how to get the media attention for its products and when you get attention people become curious and feel like they’re missing out.

    • Xavier Lanier says

      Yes, the demand for Android devices is definitely spread across several devices and all of the carriers. The Verizon kiosk (corporate owned) had less than 10 Droid Bionics in stock- I was the first and last person in line for one at 10am. 
      I went to the same mall to get my iPhone 4 and there were hundreds of people ahead of me AND after me. Apple sold a truckload of them. 

      • Anonymous says

        I’m not sure what your point is.  That because lots of people wait in line for something it’s better.  I would say it’s more indicative of a collective thought process where individuality is lost and people are just marching like little apple drones to get something that is barely different than the previous and still maintains the caps and controls that apple will decide what you can and can’t have on your phone.  I hate to generalize and have nothing in particular against apple but it is almost cult like. Doesn’t make the product better, and it doesn’t make the people who use it smarter.  

        • will ashby says

          the reason people buy the iphone is cause they can buy it without having to worry that something better from apple will come out in a week making them long for that device. To be honest I had an android and hated it because as soon as I got it something else came out that was better and then the next week the same thing. Im going to buy the iphone 5 because I know that their technology is good for a whole year before they come out with something else. Also it shows that their products are built to last longer than 3 months. Android can always offer a new phone in the next couple weeks if you are dissatisfied with your device only to be dissatisfied with that device again in another month. when it comes to functionality, apple makes their products very consumer friendly and functional. The majority of customers could care less that a phone has 1.5 ghz processor or  a super amoled screen. they just want a device thats going to work for a long time without many problems and still has a few bells and whistles

    • Tony Perez says

      I like the artistic quality of the commercial myself but it’s like watching a film trailer (preview) but the final movie is never released. If Motorola would have generated more commercials with the final handset and demonstrating how “regular” people can enjoy its “superpowers” it would have created more interest in the general public. Instead, you likely have a lot of people walking into VZW stores not knowing about the Bionic or at Costco where people walk by the Verizon counter looking for bulk cheese and inexpensive rotisserie chicken.  The commercial does nothing to generate excitement about the product and its features to the non-technical person. Apple gives examples of how people can use their products in everyday life. Time for Android hardware manufacturers to catch up! I think I’ll enter the Motorola contest and create an ad that will blow your mind. With me luck! :-)

  7. Anonymous says

    ordering directly through verizon was also a good deal (shockingly!). $250 + I will get a $100 VZW gift card for sending them my old phone.

    It will be arriving on monday!

  8. Anonymous says

    I will be buying the phone today at Costco.  Besides being a lot cheaper there is also a 90 day return policy.  If another phone comes out in the next 90 days I can bring the phone back get a full refund for the cost of the phone and then pay full retail for the next phone.  With the refund of this phone I would still be coming out with a substantial discount if another phone really upstages it that dramatically, which I doubt that soon.  The only real contender I see right now is HTC Vigor.  I’ve had the eris and indredible.  Got rid of the Eris and returned the Incredible so not sure that HTC is gonna do it for me this time. 

    • Andrew B says

      I asked them about that when I went to get a Bionic.  I’m on the fence about it and they were sold out already so I think I’ll wait and see if the Prime shows up.  The Verizon lady confirmed the 90 day return policy, but you only have 14 days to return the phone and cancel your renewal.  After that you can only return the phone for the same model, and you have to keep your contract renewal.  She may have been wrong, but it is worth checking out before you pass the 14 day mark just to be safe.

  9. AaronT says

    i live in northeast ohio, and here is what i think:

    there is only 1 apple store in cleveland / akron area.
    there are probably over 60 stores / kiosks that sell Android phones.
    if all android phones were sold at a google store, there would be a line for a few blocks long EVERY DAY.

    there are many very good android phones
    there is only one iShit phone.

    i can go on and on and on.

  10. Crvols says

    I went to Costco yesterday and they had a line at the door and sold their six phones out in a few minutes.  They were “bombed” with calls all day.  I called at 11:30 today to see if they had any more and she said they were expecting six in 1/2 hour and there was only one person waiting for a phone.  I drove to the store (20 minutes) and was second in line.  While I was there no one asked or called about the Bionic.  It seems like a great phone but I think they blew the launch!

  11. Anonymous says

    I have it in my hands right now and I couldn’t be happier, yeah the price was high but it was well worth it. For years I have waiting for a device like this. The weptop app feature and device alone makes this phone incredibly fun. The bionic is so fast I could never go back to 3G. This phone is the right phone for me.

  12. Thomas Harrison says

    I am in the market fr a new phone, but am in a state of confusion as to what to get.  I currently have a droid X and am not happy with it at all.  Battery life is horrible and worst of all transferring music from Itunes is a royal pain in the rump.  So at this time I am looking at the Bionic but have the battery life and no Itunes issues.  I am waiting for the Iphone to come out to take a look at it, but worry I am interested only because everyone else has one.  Finally there is the Droid Prime, which is rumored to be better than the Bionic.  So what is a guy to do?  If Bionic had a music App as easy as ITunes I would buy it immediately.

    • Tony Perez says

      Try DoubleTwist: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.doubleTwist.androidPlayer&feature=search_result

  13. Shane Hazlewood says

    Just went to Verizon this morning to check out the Bionic that I have been pining over for 9 months.  So at first I was very impressed with the speed and even the custom UI was decent.  It wasn’t until I compared the Bionic screen to my Droid X screen that I discovered something that ruined the whole experience.  The Droid Bionic screen is total shit!!!  For a comparison I set up both phones to play the same video through youtube and immediately saw the pixel difference.  It looks like on the Bionic you are looking through a chain link fence and the X is perfectly clear.  I would have bought the Bionic in a heartbeat if it had the same screen as the X, but the Bionic screen is unacceptable.  No way will I drop 3 bills on this thing.  Epic Fail for you Motorola!!! 

    • cpug5150 says

      From everything I’ve read about the device, the Bionic is said to have the same screen as that on the X. Two posibilities here: 1) The reference was compared to the Droid X2 and not the Droid X 2) You may have just been looking at a defective screen as every electronic device that comes out has units that are defective. I haven’t had much time to spend with the device yet, but the screen on the unit I was looking at in the store had a drop dead gorgeous screen and I’m extremely anal about perfection. Even most reviews describe the screen as aalthough it may not have the detail as displays such as the Super AMOLED from Samsung (which I have yet to find one that doesn’t have an aweful blue tint to it), the display is bright and beautiful with gorgeous color. Read cnet’s review.

  14. RodThaBod says

    I ordered mine over the net , got it for 299 and I had a 50 dollar credit off since I was close to my 2 year agreement. That knocked it down to 249. I will get an email in 5 days so I can send back my HTC Imagio and get a 100 bucks in a gift card. I can use that to pay my bill. That knocks it down to 149. So why would I stand in line when I can do this in the comfort of my own home.

    • Flcma99 says

      Isn’t the Imagio a smartphone?  If I read the fine print on the $100 trade in promotion, you have to upgrade a basic phone.

      • cpug5150 says

        That is exactly what I was told too. The $100 GC is only for those upgrading to a smartphone from a dumbphone.

  15. Christopher Hickie says

    Got a Droid 3 at Costco last month for a very good price when everyone else was sold out. I would have waited for the Bionic but it will be another 2 years before there is 4G where I live and work. I think the Droid 3 is a very nice phone and love the full keyboard, and hoping there will be a Droid 4(G)

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