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Droid sells one tenth iPhone's numbers on launch

updated 10:25 am EST, Tue November 10, 2009

Droid passes 100K units on first weekend

The Motorola Droid's quiet launch achieved just a tenth the sales of the iPhone 3GS, according to estimates by Broadpoint AmTech analyst Mark McKechnie. He determines in a note released yesterday that Verizon sold 100,000 of the Android phones on launch weekend, or just a fraction of the 1 million iPhone 3GS units that were sold when AT&T launched that device in June. The researcher also estimates that Verizon still had 100,000 Droids in stock by the end of Sunday where Apple's phone encountered weeks-long shortages, particularly outside of the US.

Although not at the high sales levels of Apple's device, McKechnie still sees the results as "encouraging" and believes that Motorola should sell about 1 million Android-based phones by the end of the year, most of which will be Droids but should also include the Cliq at T-Mobile and the international equivalents of both, the Milestone and the Dext.

The seemingly low numbers are helped by the US-only nature of the Droid launch, versus the eight-country initial release of the newer iPhone, as well as a pricing strategy that encouraged early buyers to visit Best Buy, Walmart and other retailers offering the phone without a rebate or at a lower final price. Many online orders also didn't reach customers until early this week.

Verizon nonetheless needs to avoid a sharp drop-off in sales as it has invested heavily in the Droid as its flagship phone for the holidays, including a concerted anti-iPhone TV campaign and three weeks of billboard-sized ads in Times Square. It has simultaneously tried to downplay its once-preferred partner RIM by de-emphasizing the BlackBerry Storm2 and Curve 8530.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it might be a good phone

    and Zune is not as horrible of an MP3 player as we fanbois make it sound.

    But it's not just the device, thought that's important... it's the ecosystem.

    Microsoft Marketplace sucks for buying music. iTunes Music Store is simple and easy-to-use.

    Likewise, no matter how good a phone Droid is, nobody can match the iPhone App Store.

    Incidentally, Microsoft's Zune project looks increasingly like a waste of time and money... MP3 players aren't where it's at any longer. But Apple figured this out a while back, that things would be this way by now. That's why they didn't mind 'cannibalizing' iPod sales with iPhone. Microsoft didn't see the larger picture. All tactics and no strategy.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quiet Launch?

    Someone at Verizon forgot about all the ads and all the BS put out by verizon recently?

    If something didn't succeed, then try to blame it on something else.

    Perhaps because people don't want it?

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Zune is pretty awful actually, due to its low usability.

    As of now, Zune isn't even on Amazon's top 25. In fact, Zune isn't even on Amazon's top 100 list. Apple sells more multi-touch mouse than MS sells zunes.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What was quiet was the cash registers...

    Projecting a million Droid sales by the end of the year seems a rather unlikely goal. As was mentioned, the Motorola Droid has no ecosystem to speak of. It has lousy synching capabilities (I think doubleTwist does support it, though). It's been said the media players on the Droid are sub-par. It doesn't make the Droid a bad smartphone by any means, but in order to continue to get high sales, it needs some sort of speciality feature to distinguish it from the dozens of Android cellphones coming to market. Maybe Motorola's death has been pushed back another year. We'll see.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In their defense,

    They have sold 100,000 times as many Droids as I've sold of my breakthrough ANOID device, which consists of the convergence of two world-beating technologies, the Apple Newton and the Motorola StarTac. It also builds on the timeless value of a ubiquitous component technology, duct tape.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The issue with the Droid

    is Advertising..

    Great start on the TV ads before release date. Nice way to pump it up and get interest going.. but now that its out, I have no idea what it is.. I know that it drops from a fighter jet and lands all over the country in pods. I also know people stare at it confusingly, like it's a UFO...

    Outside of that, I have no clue what it's capable of. Not the way to sell a phone at all

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oh, they didn't sell as many Droids as Apple sold their new iteration of the iPhone (which has been around for 2 years now), and somehow the launch is a failure? Gee, I guess in the Apple-centric, if you don't do as good as Apple then you're a failure world.

    Of course, if the sold 10 times the amount of iPhones, I'm sure people would be saying "Sure, but look what you get. These people are just a bunch of Linux drones looking for cheap" or stuff like that.

  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969



    iPhone launched in multiple countries. The Droid was just in one.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Android limited to 256 MB of apps. No way to go around that.

    That's probably why it only allows 3 screens of apps.

  1. shawnb2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Accurate comparison?

    If you're going to make the iPhone comparison, wouldn't it be more accurate to compare the Droid launch numbers to the original iPhone launch numbers? 1st generation vs 1st generation?

    It sounds like these numbers do not include non-Verizon (and online) retailers. These other sources sold the phone for $100 cheaper upfront by doing away with the mail-in rebate.

    So basically these numbers are estimates based on the number of people who paid $100 extra upfront in order to get the phone directly from a Verizon store and then have to hassle with a mail-in rebate.

    I'll wait to see the hard numbers before I form an opinion on how successful the launch was...

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