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Begun, the SmartPhone Wars Have



droid3The headline may be cliche, but I think it is certainly accurate. I’ve been reading and looking at a lot of coverage this morning about the Droid smartphone, debuting on Verzion next week. . It is being hyped as an iPhone killer and a lot more. But that kind of hype usually ends up meaningless in the end regardless of what is hyped to be the killer of what. That said, I think the Droid looks to be a real competitor to the iPhone for several reasons. (Below the jump.) One thing is certain, competition, which is always a good thing, is about to heat up in a big way.

  • Android 2.0: This looks like an extremely promising update to the Android OS and the Droid hardware looks like it is ready to take advantage of it.
  • iPhone backlash: Whenver you’re on top you get folks taking shots at you and that is certainly true of the iPhone. In the tech blogs there certainly seems to be a longing for a real competitor here, and whether or not the Droid proves to be that, that meme will run for some time.
  • Google Maps and new features. Google is showing off its new Google Maps which will only be available on Android 2.0, which for the time being means Droid. I have to agree with buddy Kevin Tofel that in the early going Google has put a kink in other GPS makers plans with the new features. Given the back and forth tussles with Google and Apple over other a variety of things, this could end up being a key differentiator.
  • Google Voice: It’s there. It’s native. No problems. Again, largely a geek crowd thing at the moment, but an important one for gathering momentum. The new voice mail roll out is not only well timed but a great way to ease folks into Google Voice in all of its glory.
  • AT&T Backlash: No company in recent memory has taken so much heat for its failures. Verizon stands to gain if they can deliver without some of its usual self inflicted silly policies. Indications are they may have see the light.
  • Google in general. Google is making some moves on a number of fronts. Android being one of them. I think what we’re seeing today are just the opening salvos of some big time competition.

I have to admit, even with the problems I still enjoy my iPhone and consider it one of my best purchases in the last few years. But, from what I’m seeing and what I’m reading, I’m going to anxiously be following what happens with the Droid.



  1. Xavier Lanier

    10/28/2009 at 11:13 am

    Driving directions sure look nice on that Droid :-)

  2. Sumocat

    10/28/2009 at 1:09 pm

    Given the discussion is being driven by “Droid,” I think the headline is appropriate. :)

  3. Jim

    10/28/2009 at 11:06 pm

    My only question is…

    What happens to your navigation capabilities when there is no connection to the cloud?

    Does it stop functioning? Is there a built in map system that is pre downloaded that takes over?

    Basically, I go off road or out of reception, and I want to be able to get back. A standard GPS can do this because it has a map loaded on the device, and doesn’t rely on an Internet Connection that may disappear.

    Does any body know these answers?

  4. frblckstr

    10/29/2009 at 5:44 am

    ^ I tried that once on a PocketPC with Google Maps, it continues to use the cached maps, then goes ‘of the map’ when it reaches to end.
    I browsed my path before undertaking this, so I had it show my location without problems and without any internet connection during it.
    (unless they changed this in the newer version…)

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