Verizon touts Android's superiority over iPhone
Every major iteration of Android is named after a pastry (Cupcake, Donut, etc.), and whenever the latest version is being worked on, a giant foam rendition of that pastry is planted on the lawn of Google's headquarters. Last week, a giant eclair, signifying the impending drop of Android 2.0, was unveiled.
This is normally a pretty big event in and of itself, but it happened on the same day that Google had its quarterly earnings call, and CEO Eric Schmidt made the bold statement that "Android adoption is about to explode," without providing too much more detail.
But not a lot of detail was needed to see what was going on. A little more than a week prior, Google and Verizon made a joint announcement that Verizon would be getting its first Android phone, and Schmidt's enthusiasm for the mobile operator was abundantly clear at the time ("Verizon's data network is the best in the US by far.") Additionally, Motorola's Android device destined for Verizon had not made its debut yet, so it looked like only a matter of time before something big happened.
Over the weekend, the push began with a captivating television advertisement.
Moving beyond the tame MyTouch3G advertising campaign which has an untoward number of former Saturday Night Live cast members (none of whom seem to appreciate the device), the new ads take an aggressive stance against Apple's iPhone.
The first ad shows no product yet. It simply lists a number of things which the iPhone cannot do ("iDon't allow open development, iDon't run simultaneous apps," etc.) and closes with "Droid Does...November."
"Droid," though a trademark of George Lucas, is expected to be the official name of the phone which has until now been called Motorola Sholes, an Android 2.0-equipped QWERTY slider running the powerful TI OMAP3430 processor.
While the ad harkens back to the 16-bit era of video gaming when Sega ran a campaign with a nearly identical tag line ("Genesis Does what Nintendon't,") it is one of the most direct advertising attacks a Fortune 500 company has made on Apple, which has itself been directly attacking Microsoft Windows in its advertisements for many years.
Any photographs and specs related to the Droid are still totally unofficial. Today, Boy Genius Report, which has been leaking information about the Motorola Sholes for months, posted an early hands-on report which lauds the device as "the thinnest QWERTY slider we've ever seen....the fastest Android device we've ever used....the best screen we've ever seen on an Android Handset...the most impressive phone we've used since the iPhone."
That's a lot of superlatives. Pair them with Schmidt's glowing praise for Verizon and things get downright mushy.