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Droid is coming to Verizon

Verizon and Motorola unveil the new Android-based smartphone, readying their potential iPhone challenger for a possible release date of October 30.

Could the new Droid finally be the smartphone to knock the Apple iPhone off its pedestal? Droid partners Verizon, Motorola, and Google are positioning it as such.

The latest Android-based smartphone, the Droid, could debut as early as October 30, according to a cryptic countdown code on Verizon's Web site that promotes the new device.

Verizon has set up its Droid promo page with direct challenges to the iPhone, with such slap-in-the face headlines as: "iDon't have a real keyboard," "iDon't run simultaneous apps," and "iDon't allow open development." And "everything iDon't...Droid does."

The page goes on to tout all that the Droid does offer, including high speed, multitasking, networking, a high-resolution screen, speech recognition, directions, video, music, and more than 10,000 apps.


The Droid is the same smartphone formerly known as the Motorola Sholes, so some technical specs have already been known.

The phone will run the new Android 2.0 operating system. It will provide a 3.7-inch touch screen along with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The 5-megapixel autofocus and flash camera will offer both still and video recording. Wi-FI, Bluetooth 2.0, and GPS are there as well.

Calls to Motorola, Verizon, and Google for further details were not immediately returned.

But Web sites are already touting the Droid as the hottest phone that will hit the market in awhile.

The Boy Genius Report site says it's already gotten its hands on a Droid, revealing a few key details. The phone is just slightly thicker than an iPhone 3GS, says the site, sporting a "pretty usable," ultrathin, sliding QWERTY keyboard.

Powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 processor (the same chip used by the Palm Pre), the Droid is the fastest and most impressive Android device that Boy Genius says it's seen. (Google reportedly had a strong hand in its design.) The site also is gushing over the phone's display, calling it the best screen so far on an Android handset.

The TechCrunch site calls the Droid a three-way effort among Motorola, Verizon, and Google. The site says that, according to people who've tried out the device, the Droid is the "most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint." TechCrunch sees it as "Android's flagship product, and the first phone that will pose a significant threat to Apple's iPhone."

Verizon has often been a mixed bag for many customers, offering a reliable, high-speed network but lacking a must-have smartphone a la the iPhone.