Verizon's Mystery Droid Takes Aim at Apple's iPhone

Photo: Verizons Mystery Droid Takes Aim at Apples iPhone: New Ad Campaign Targets iPhone With Tagline, "Whatever iDont, Droid Does"

iPhone, consider yourself marked.

In an aggressive new ad campaign teasing a mystery phone with the potential to slay Apple's leading smartphone, Verizon Wireless appears to have thrown down the gauntlet.

Its Web and TV ad lists the iPhone's most notorious flaws, such as the lack of a physical keyboard, the inability to run several applications simultaneously and a camera that can't take shots at night, and then ends with the tag line: "Everything iDon't, Droid Does."

G Phone

Verizon has not said anything about the phone outside of its ads, but some say the new device, which has the backing of Verizon Wireless, cell phone maker Motorola and tech giant Google, could shape up to be the iPhone's biggest threat yet.

The popular blog TechCrunch called it "the first phone that will pose a significant threat to Apple's iPhone" and the tech blog VentureBeat went even further, saying "it will likely have the glitz and power to bury the iPhone."

Apple's popular touchscreen phone, which helped the company post a 47 percent profit jump in just the last quarter, has successfully fended off attacks from wannabe "iPhone killers" in the past.

iPhone Has Fended Off 'Killers' in the Past

T-Mobile's G1 "Google phone," Verizon's Blackberry Storm and Sprint's Palm Pre all tried -- and failed -- to knock AT&T's iPhone off its throne.

But even those who don't think Verizon's mystery droid will beat the iPhone say that it could still be a formidable opponent.

"I don't know that people can out-Apple Apple because they re-defined the existing [smartphone] market," said Kevin Tofel, editor of the mobile technology blog, JKOntheRun. But, he continued, "If we're looking for an iPhone killer, the Droid probably has the best shot."

Though Verizon and Motorola declined to comment on the phone, the ad campaign's Web site, directs to a site that includes both companies' names in the Web address.

The site hints at a "robot sidekick" that runs on Google's Android software, is capable of serving multiple applications at once, has a 5-megapixel camera, speech recognition and more.

Google's Android Software Has 'Matured'

Tofel said that Google's open source Android software, which debuted on the T-Mobile G1 phone last September and gives third-party developers the opportunity to create new applications, has matured from being "the teenager to the young adult."

That improved operating system, combined with a keyboard coveted by many and hardware expected to be advanced could make for an all-around very solid phone, he said.

On Sunday, the gadget blog BoyGeniusReport, which often manages to review products before their official release dates, posted photos of a phone thought to be the new Verizon Droid.

The pictures show a sleek phone just slightly thicker than an iPhone 3G, equipped with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen.

"It's a really good phone, I was incredibly impressed," the blogger behind BoyGeniusReport, who asked to be referred to as "BG," told "I use an iPhone and BlackBerry daily. To get me excited about anything else is really hard."

Gadget Blogger: New Droid Could Eat into BlackBerry Sales

In addition to the impressive hardware and sensitive touchscreen, he said the Android operating system was basically untouched by Verizon or Motorola.

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