Thursday, November 12, 2009

100K Droids Sold

According to an industry analyst, Verizon Wireless sold about 100,000 Droids over this past weekend (Fri 6 Nov to Sun 8 Nov). Although Verizon Wireless (VZ, NYSE) is not confirming those numbers, no one is really disputing them.

What is a matter of dispute is whether 100K phones is "strong" start or a "weak" start. Those who say it's a weak start compare the phone's performance to the iPhone, with which the Droid is meant to compete. "The iPhone sold multiples of that amount in its first weekend for the original version," according to Roger Entner, an analyst at Nielsen Co.

But I tend to lean towards the "strong" start camp... partly because I'm naturally an optimist. But I also recognize that the iPhone was the first to the party. It was new and sensational. And no one can dispute that Apple does a phenomenal job of building market excitement in advance of a product launch.

The Droid is an answer to the iPhone; a response not an initiator. So it will not have the same buzz and excitement. It's not as disruptive a technology. People who were unwilling to switch to the iPhone 2½ years ago are not going to be as willing to switch to the Droid today.

On the other hand (I'm also an economist), when current Verizon Wireless contracts start coming up for renewal, I believe you'll see a tremendous number of users switching from BlackBerry's, Palm Pre's, and other smart-phones, over to the Droid. Because of that, I see the sale of 100,000 phones in 36 hours as a sign that strong Droid sales are highly likely over the next two to three years.

Credit where credit is due ...
ComputerWorld's article on Droid Sales -- by Matt Hamblen, originally published November 10, 2009

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