Verizon Droid fails to match iPhone sales

With all the hype surrounding Verizon Wireless' Droid smartphone there seems to be one thing that the Droid can't do that Apple's iPhone can and that is move a lot of devices in the course of one weekend. Verizon's new Android based phone has failed to match Apple's sales during it's launch weekend.

The Droid sold an estimated 100,000 units in the first two days following its Nov. 6 release-a solid start for the much-anticipated phone. But this is nowhere near the 1 million both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S sold in their opening weekends, according to a post on TheAppleBlog.com.

A more fitting comparison is that of the original iPhone launch which moved 270,000 devices its first weekend. This news however does show that Verizon was able to destroy the Palm Pre opening weekend which only managed to sell about 50,000 units in it's first weekend.

While it may be unfair to judge a devices longevity based on the sales of the launch weekend one thing is very clear, Verizon has spent a lot of money marketing a positioning Droid as the iPhone killer and with an estimated marketing campaign reported to be close to $100,000,000 USD it's safe to assume Verizon is in it for the long haul.

How the device holds up in the coming weeks and months may prove how effective the marketing campaign and consumer adoption is, but only time will tell. However given the success and popularity of the iPhone it is doubtful the folks at Apple are worried about the marketing campaign that Verizon is running to cast a negative light on the iPhone.

Special thanks to Klethron for his contribution

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Interesting sales figures. I figured the Droid would sell decent. Good thing for Motorola too considering their losses the last couple of years... Even with the Razr sales under their belt they were still hurting...

Even though I really don't get what all the hype is about with those stupid iPhones, the fact that matter is people prefer them to other devices. I even convinced a friend who was with T-Mobile, his contract was up for renewal and the "smart" iPhone user updated his jailbroken phone to a version that couldn't be jailbroken at the moment in time. I convinced him to dump his iPhone that he was "fed up" with and get myTouch 3g... Few days ago he wants to sell both phones and use the $$$ to get the new iPhone... unfortunately he didn't really have an answer when I asked him what did the iPhone do so great that the myTouch can't and the only sensible response I could get was that the iPhone is more "shiny" and it ran a little smoother (I would imagine so when its limited to a single app)....

I guess the moral of the story is most people are simply not smart enough to move out of the comfort zone the iPhone gives them. Looks like the jiggling menu icons are very important to some people - that's what my friend demonstrated to me when he got his iPhone for the first time - how the menu icons jiggle when you hold your finger on the screen... :-|

That's here in the US of A though - I'm sure smartphone users around the world are "smarter" than here...

I'm a smartphone user (not in the USA) and I'm smart enough to understand that people are entitled to their own opinions (including yours, even though you seem unnecessarily hypercritical of all iPhone users).

There were phones that had touchscreens, copying & pasting features, web surfing, applications, etc long before the iPhone came out (this may come as a surprise to some people, for example techbeck (see post #17)). However the reason why I (and my friends) love the iPhone is that it has all the aforementioned capabilities plus a wide range of other features that I (we) can use in a simple, nice and easy way (and admittedly the looks/"shininess" are an added perk). The iPhone is a smart phone because it is a simple phone (in my opinion).

Wow a whole 100k In marketing! That sure is a lot to invest (queue Borat joke).... NOT!!!! Who proof read this article?

100k? It says $100 million. Thankfully you weren't hired to proofread the article. (Apologies for the sarcasm if the article was amended/edited.)

forgot to mention...when the iPhone was released, there was really no other phone like it . So yea, it would sell a hell of a lot more the first weekend that any other similar phone...there were no competition and no other choices to choose from. Now that there are BBs, Androids, WinMo, and a bunch of other similar phones to choose from, the market share is more divided and not going to one company.

And MS gets blamed for false reporting...geesh

techbeck said,
forgot to mention...when the iPhone was released, there was really no other phone like it . So yea, it would sell a hell of a lot more the first weekend that any other similar phone...there were no competition and no other choices to choose from. Now that there are BBs, Androids, WinMo, and a bunch of other similar phones to choose from, the market share is more divided and not going to one company.

And MS gets blamed for false reporting...geesh

WinMo and BB pre-date iPhone.

Well, I've been using smart phones for several years now and just picked up the Droid a few days ago. It is by far the best smart phone I've ever had, and I've never been disappointed by any of my previous phones. It multi-tasks well, the screen is amazing, and it's got a huge number of useful apps. Not to mention it is the world's thinnest QWERTY slider and feels extremely sturdy. Speaking of the keyboard, it's really not bad, don't judge it based on the pictures.

Dude, take a product, stick the apple logo onit.. and it will Sell.. Apple geared themselves for this with excellent marketing dating back to the THINK DIFFERENT CAMPAIGN!.. its all paying off now. This is what these other company's fail to realize!

dimithrak said,
Dude, take a product, stick the apple logo onit.. and it will Sell.. Apple geared themselves for this with excellent marketing dating back to the THINK DIFFERENT CAMPAIGN!.. its all paying off now. This is what these other company's fail to realize!

There is a lot of truth to that. A lot of power in marketing when you market a brand name rather than a specific product. A large part of the iPhone and Blackberry success over the other smartphones is the fact that their brands are marketed more than a particular phone or model.

That's true, all that advertising did play a part. I wonder how much carriers played a part? In my area nearly everyone uses AT&T. It's not just because of the iPhone either. They are just the carrier of choice.

Are we forgetting that the original iPhone had 6 MONTHS worth of advertising before it was released? Most people would consider that rather important.

Yeah no kidding. There had been years of speculation on the damn thing too.
The marketing onslaught for the iPhone was ridiculous.

Did you not read:

"The Droid sold an estimated 100,000 units in the first two days following its Nov. 6 release-a solid start for the much-anticipated phone. But this is nowhere near the 1 million both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S sold in their opening weekends, according to a post on TheAppleBlog.com."

The article also doesn't mention that the 3G and 3GS where already riding high on the wave built up by the original iPhone, the Droid didn't really have that luxury, nor does it have the advantage of Apple's corporate advertising juggernaut or hordes of loyal fans that will buy anything stamped with one of its logos.

However the article also mentions that the original iPhone (which wasn't riding on any "high wave" of previous phones) sold almost 3 times as much. As for advertising of the iPhone, the rumoured $100 million spent on the Droid's advertising (again from the article) is hardly trivial. And yes, I have an iPhone. And no, it's not because it's an iSomething.

So, they are comparing the droid to the iPhone when it has only been out for a week? Ummm, ok. And what about world wide Android OS phones compared to iPhones?

techbeck said,
So, they are comparing the droid to the iPhone when it has only been out for a week? Ummm, ok. And what about world wide Android OS phones compared to iPhones?

Yeah, I agree. 100k units is pretty dang good for opening weekend for brand-spankin-new hardware and product IP. Comparing it to the already established iPhone is not really fair for this article to do.

the droid is such a good phone but is the fear of the people moving the iphone os to android that makes the droid an underdog but still it brings competition to the world of smartphones the only winners are us

Look at it this way....the Droid is one FUGLY device. The qwerty keyboard isn't spaced well. From what I've seen and what I've read from other Droid users/testers is that the browser still isn't as good as iPhone Safari. The touch screens on devices to date aren't the same as the iPhone...they don't seem to feel as nice and don't run as smoothly. Until a manufacturer makes a device that is really sleek, has a very good touch screen and a mobile browser that equals or surpasses the iPhone Safari (also w/ FLASH)...none will be able to beat the iPhone. I believe this to be the case because people keep buying the iPhone by the millions yet knowing they will be stuck with AT&T as a carrier.

There are many touch screen devices and already a few that far surpass the iPhone. Still, the fact that you don't seem to know about them proves a point--Apple has done a great job of making the iPhone a well-known object similar to the iPod. They weren't the first with a touch screen. They weren't the first with installable apps or web browsing or whatever. Hell, they made you give up common smartphone features like multitasking, tethering, a real keyboard, video record, etc. and some of those have yet to be implemented by this third generation. What they have done is make something prettier than most competitors and that counts for a lot and it's why most iPhone buyers are coming from dumb- and feature-phones. It got people to make the jump up but I've found that most smart-phone owners feel too limited by them to move down to one, sleek or not.

Also the Palm Pre's browser is the equal of the iPhone's and arguably better in many ways since you can switch over to something else while the browser is still running. It's also getting flash in the near future whereas Apple has blocked Flash from being implemented lest thousands of free Flash games and apps be ported to the iPhone ruining their cash cow app store.

I'd have to agree. The two reasons I don't go with iPhone myself are AT&T and because it doesn't have the same smart-phone features. I would be willing to give up the features if I could get someone other than AT&T.

BTW - on the Storm you can multitask and leave the browser open while switching to other apps too. A feature that I love on mine.

neodorian said,
There are many touch screen devices and already a few that far surpass the iPhone. Still, the fact that you don't seem to know about them proves a point--Apple has done a great job of making the iPhone a well-known object similar to the iPod. They weren't the first with a touch screen. They weren't the first with installable apps or web browsing or whatever. Hell, they made you give up common smartphone features like multitasking, tethering, a real keyboard, video record, etc. and some of those have yet to be implemented by this third generation. What they have done is make something prettier than most competitors and that counts for a lot and it's why most iPhone buyers are coming from dumb- and feature-phones. It got people to make the jump up but I've found that most smart-phone owners feel too limited by them to move down to one, sleek or not.

Also the Palm Pre's browser is the equal of the iPhone's and arguably better in many ways since you can switch over to something else while the browser is still running. It's also getting flash in the near future whereas Apple has blocked Flash from being implemented lest thousands of free Flash games and apps be ported to the iPhone ruining their cash cow app store.


The point I was trying to make is that if they were to take the Droid and gave it a better look, a better web browser, a better qwerty, it would sell like hotcakes. For the record, I hate physical qwerty keyboards because most manufacturers can't seem to get them designed right. Either they keys are just too small or aren't spaced far enough apart or the keyboard is designed such a way where you can't really tell what key you might be hitting. So I rather not deal with physical keyboards at all. I can deal with the touchscreen ones.

Also, I didn't even come close to talking about who had a touchscreen first. I knew Apple didn't do the first TS. I don't care about that or who had the first installable apps or multitasking. I was simply making a point saying I believe the Droid would have sold better if it looked better and had a better touchscreen and a better web browser.

Agree about the browser, but I find the touchscreen on my G1 to be perfectly fine, and with multi touch (in the EU anyway) the droid's should be even better. I also disagree about keyboards, I can type a text message on my G1 in about a third of the time it would take me to do it on an iPhone, and the Droid's physical keyboard is better than the equivalent on the G1.

I think the sells numbers are pretty good. Some things to consider:

1. iPhone service providers generally offer an upgrade program (I think). People can upgrade their iPhone 3g to a 3gs on opening weekend w/o paying full cost even if they are still under contract. (correct me if I'm wrong here). This is the first "Droid."

2. Most Verizon wireless customers are under contract. They are under contract most likely due to their last phone upgrade. The cost of the "Droid" outside of contract is likely high enough that most people are waiting until their contract expires to get a new phone.

3. Most people don't want to be an "early adopter" of a new thing. I think a lot of people are seeing what the initial reactions of the early adopters are before they make a purchasing decision. With the iPhone 3g and 3gs, the market was already established and these were seen as upgrades to an already existing platform. The early adopters of the iPhone already bit the bullet back in 2007.

4. It is Motorola. People I talk to at work who have owned Motorola phones have not been very pleased with them. A few are interested in the Droid but are still bitter at Motorola for whatever reason. (Crappy Razr phone or something)

Shadrack said,
I think the sells numbers are pretty good. Some things to consider:

1. iPhone service providers generally offer an upgrade program (I think). People can upgrade their iPhone 3g to a 3gs on opening weekend w/o paying full cost even if they are still under contract. (correct me if I'm wrong here). This is the first "Droid."

2. Most Verizon wireless customers are under contract. They are under contract most likely due to their last phone upgrade. The cost of the "Droid" outside of contract is likely high enough that most people are waiting until their contract expires to get a new phone.

3. Most people don't want to be an "early adopter" of a new thing. I think a lot of people are seeing what the initial reactions of the early adopters are before they make a purchasing decision. With the iPhone 3g and 3gs, the market was already established and these were seen as upgrades to an already existing platform. The early adopters of the iPhone already bit the bullet back in 2007.

4. It is Motorola. People I talk to at work who have owned Motorola phones have not been very pleased with them. A few are interested in the Droid but are still bitter at Motorola for whatever reason. (Crappy Razr phone or something)



There are *three* Andriod-based phones available from VZW right now, and only one is from Motorola. Also, most Motorola RAZR-based phones didn't suck (not from VZW or anyone else). However, one thing Motorola *was* late for (which Apple's iPhone took big advantage of) was a *wow* factor for their handsets (RIM had the same issue with the Blackberry pre-Bold, and especially pre-Storm); the big complaint about Motorola's handsets is that they were BORING!

PGHammer said,
Also, most Motorola RAZR-based phones didn't suck (not from VZW or anyone else).

Whether or not something sucks is a complete matter of opinion (not of fact). Two co-workers who have had the phones said they thought it sucked. By that it is obvious they were not satisfied with the phone for whatever reason. It is not my opinion, as I have never owned one. I think their opinion is completely valid and was weighted heavily in their decision to pick up this new phone. You saying otherwise does not change their opinion in the slightest, but thank you for yours.

There are *three* Andriod-based phones available from VZW right now, and only one is from Motorola.

So what? It is still new hardware. Early adoption of hardware is far riskier than earlier adoption of software.

PGHammer said,
There are *three* Andriod-based phones available from VZW right now, and only one is from Motorola. Also, most Motorola RAZR-based phones didn't suck (not from VZW or anyone else). However, one thing Motorola *was* late for (which Apple's iPhone took big advantage of) was a *wow* factor for their handsets (RIM had the same issue with the Blackberry pre-Bold, and especially pre-Storm); the big complaint about Motorola's handsets is that they were BORING!

Yeah I don't know about that. I considered getting a RAZR back when they were popular and had SEVERAL different people from different carriers try to steer me away from it. Finally I asked one rep what the reason was that everyone was always recommending "any and everything" other than RAZR and he said the failure rate on the RAZR was so high that they were tired of having people coming back in a few weeks or few months later and tearing them a new a**hole when the brand new phone broke. He had stories of people replacing their RAZR several times.

I asked around at various other stores and many of the sales reps admitted they try to get people to buy something other than RAZR because they didn't want the stress of someone coming back over and over again and they knew they risked losing the sale and returning the comish if the person finally gave up and demanded a cancellation.

I've personally never owned one but I know people who have and they were not happy with them due to the high failure rate. I know one guy that went thru 8 of them over a 2-year period and according to a Verizon rep, that kind of thing was not unusual.

I think people got a bad taste of Motorola back in those days and it's carrying over to today.

iPhone grabbed almost all of the early adopters and I bet most of those people are still locked into their 2 year contact with AT&T. So they could leave if they wanted to.

^^Smartphones for non-business use, they were pretty unattractive software + looks wise before the iphone.
Since then the other manufacturers have stepped up, but the iphone still has many loyal fans.

acnpt said,
^^Smartphones for non-business use, they were pretty unattractive software + looks wise before the iphone.
Since then the other manufacturers have stepped up, but the iphone still has many loyal fans.

I am not really sure where you are trying to go with this. Apple still can't keep up with demand in terms of supplying units of the 3GS. These are newcomers, not just existing users; and as I recall many polls showed that a large percentage of the existing iPhone users were happy with their device. Loyal fans or not, the iPhone is very popular.

Ahh I didn't mean to make it sound like only loyal iphone fans would buy the iphone. I meant loyal fans, and new customers, but also that other manufacturers are now providing better smartphones than they did before the iphone.
I'm happy with my iPhone.

I thought the Palm Pre would have sold more than the droid.
In the UK most android phones, and the palm pre are now free on contracts. Unlike the iphone.

Palm Pre is on Sprint only for now in the US. Sprint is also one of the worst cellular networks. Hence, less people buying.

acnpt said,
The iphone isn't normally free on cheaper contracts.

The iPhone is never free on cheaper contracts they don't budge like other providers can on contracts... even just an old 3G and only 8gb model will set you back £35/mo for 2 years - for a lousy 600 minutes.

Xilo said,
Palm Pre is on Sprint only for now in the US. Sprint is also one of the worst cellular networks. Hence, less people buying.

actually sprint is actually a very good network. their reputation was destroyed on bad customer service, not phone/data service. i just signed on with sprint for the hero, and while i'm having a lot of problems with the device, i can't say i'm having a single issue with reception.
by your estimates then, the iphone should be selling about 1-2 per year since it's on at&t, notably the worst carrier in the u.s. (that's who i just left)

[palm pre owner]Haters...[/palm pre owner]

Hmph.. the droid is a decent phone, but ill stick with my multi taskin card view.

I like mine too but the Droid is also a great phone. I don't like Verizon really but they are doing a smart thing by branding their whole Android line similarly. That way when one phone is phased out, "Droid" will still be a brand that can build in popularity. That is one thing the iPhone has going. It's not the biggest, baddest, fastest, newest, oldest, or anything really but if Apple knows how to do anything, it's take things that already exist, make them prettier, and market the hell out of them.