Motorola Droid lands on Earth

Struggling handset vendor Motorola put an end to the rumours on Wednesday, finally releasing more information on its Droid device – its first such handset to run Android 2.0.

The Droid will appear on November 6 on Verizon Wireless’ network, in the wake of a vendor funded advertising campaign pitching the device against the Apple iPhone.

The device will cost $199.99 with a two year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate, and will need to be accompanied by a nationwide voice plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Voice plans begin at $39.99 for monthly access for 450 minutes and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan is $29.99 for monthly access.

In a slider form factor with a full QWERTY keyboard, the Droid boasts a 3.7” high-resolution capacitive touchscreen, with a width of 854 pixels and more than 400,000 pixels in total. The camera weighs in at five megapixels, with a dual-LED flash and video capture, backed up by 16GB of removable storage.

The Droid packs an ARM Cortex A8 processor

The Droid packs an ARM Cortex A8 processor

Connectivity is provided by 3G EV-DO, wifi and Bluetooth as well as A-GPS, while the operating system is Android 2.0, supporting multitasking for six apps, and access to more than 12,000 applications via the Android app store. Droid is also the first device to support Google Maps Navigation (Beta), which provides turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps and can also be voice controlled.

It sounds impressive, especially for a Motorola device, but probably the most advantageous thing Droid has got going for it is a Webkit HTML5, Flash 10 ready browser, and an ARM Cortex A8 processor, making it roughly twice as fast as existing Android handsets. It will be interesting to see how it’s received this holiday season.

This week Verizon reported that net income for the three months to the end of September fell 9.8 per cent year on year to $2.8bn, while operating revenues climbed just over ten per cent year on year to $27bn.

Wireless revenues for the quarter were up 23 per cent year on year to $13.5bn, although net adds fell 38 per cent year on year to 1.3 million in the third quarter leaving the company with 89 million subscribers.

Wireline revenues were flat at $4.9bn, as fixed line subs continued to plummet, dropping ten per cent year on year to 33 million. FIOS picked up steam however with internet subscribers jumping 49 per cent year on year in the nine months to end-September to reach 3.2 million, and IPTV subs up 67 per cent to 2.7 million.

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