updated 11:55 am EDT, Fri October 30, 2009
Verizon early openings to mimic iPhone hype
Verizon's launch of the Droid next week may involve a carefully orchestrated store opening, a source said late yesterday. Carrier stores will reportedly open at 6AM, or four hours early, to accommodate an expected rush of early buyers on November 6th. The Motorola Android phone is said by BGR be accompanied by the budget-minded Droid Eris at the same time.
Talk of special opening hours follows shortly after word of a major Times Square campaign and hints at Verizon betting more heavily on the Droid as its flagship phone than any device in the past. The launch of the BlackBerry Storm last year was marked by stronger than usual advertising and store queues but didn't involve exception store hours and had a considerably lower-profile marketing campaign. Some of the relative quiet was prompted by a brief sellout but also by mixed reviews, early software glitches and a quick cooldown of sales after the initial period.
By comparison, AT&T opened its stores for the iPhone 3GS launch at 7AM but also reported its best-ever sales day, even factoring in holiday sales, and faced longer supply issues. It's not clear whether Verizon expects similar levels of anticipation, but it has rarely made one phone the highlight of a large campaign or offered particuarly exceptional store hours for its stores.