We have heard a lot about iPhone killers in the past. N95, Palm Pre, and myTouch 3G are all smartphone that have been dubbed as “iPhone killer” in the past. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the media who use sensationalism to generate buzz for any device that looks half decent. But it is going to take a lot for any smart-phone at this point to beat the iPhone. Droid has gotten a lot of coverage in the past few weeks as it seems to be the first Android phone that puts up any real challenge against the iPhone. But is it ready to take on the iPhone and actually beat it in the smart-phone market?
The iPhone can’t be beat in the application department for the time being. There are thousands of useful applications available on iTunes that enhance your phone’s functionality. That’s something that you won’t get with Android in the very near future. So Droid’s success is somewhat limited by Android Market. Apple realized early in the game that having a SDK for iPhone would allow it to build another layer of competitive edge over its competitors. The timing was certainly right for Apple, and that is why the company has such a huge advantage over other companies when it comes to third-party apps.
Droid does have Verizon going for it. According to a study on Wall Street Journal, people who have tried Droid are excited about having such a sophisticated phone available for Verizon:
The Droid doesn’t have a single ‘wow’ feature… Rather, it’s the combination of solid phone, smart user interface, and Verizon’s kick-ass network that makes the Droid a cut above most smart phones.
When you think about it, AT&T has been a weak link for Apple. The company has decent coverage but it’s not exactly something that you would write home about. Verizon is interested in picking up the iPhone as well, so Apple fans and those interested in joining the iPhone community but are tied to Verizon network may get their chance. Droid may be a solid point, but Verizon network might be its strongest feature next to its use of Android platform.
Droid may not be able to beat the iPhone by itself, but it could spell doom for other top smart-phones, including Palm Pre. Palm Pre has had all kinds of trouble catching up with the iPhone. The introduction of Droid could mean less business for Palm. Palm is going to introduce new devices in the future, but it’s hard to see it gaining too much traction in the smart-phone market.
The Droid may have decent calling features, a decent look and feel, and cool navigation features for its owners. But it is by no means superior to the iPhone. A bit of sensationalism never hurts. That’s not to say that we won’t see a real Android-based iPhone killer in the future, but at this point Droid is not it. My hunch is that the Droid will push the iPhone real hard. But with iPhone 4.0 coming soon, it’s going to take something especial for any product to beat it.