Mystery Android project takes a swing at the iPhone

An aggressive TV ad campaign from Verizon Wireless in the USA is adding to the support building for a software package from Google that is shaping up to be the most formidable challenge yet to Apple's iPhone.

The commercials for the "Droid" phone, being made by Motorola, list features that the iPhone lacks, such as a physical keyboard and the ability to run applications simultaneously. It ends with the tag line "Everything iDon't. Droid does."



It's not the first ad from a wireless carrier to take aim at the iPhone's weaknesses. Notably, Sprint Nextel's ads for the Samsung Instinct and the Palm Pre have compared these devices to the iPhone.



But the Verizon ads come at a sensitive time for the iPhone, as user frustration with the network of the sole US iPhone carrier, AT&T, is growing.



Verizon Wireless gets high marks for its network quality, but it has lacked a "smart" phone that can match the iPhone's ease of use and breadth of third-party applications.

Watch the advert

The touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, which launched last year, is the closest Verizon has come, but the first Storm got lukewarm reviews and was plagued by software problems.

The Droid will run Google's Android software, which is gathering momentum as a platform for a range of manufacturers, in contrast to the Apple-only model of the iPhone.



T-Mobile USA and Sprint already have Android phones. With Verizon, the largest US carrier, now on board, the free software package becomes more attractive to software developers who want to reach the widest possible audience for their applications. A wealth of applications, in turn, helps attract customers to a phone.



The ads don't show the phone or reveal a price or a launch date more specific than "November." But the home page for the ad campaign, droiddoes.com, sends viewers to another site that has "Motorola" in the address. And two weeks ago Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam posed for an Associated Press photographer with an Android phone carrying the Motorola and Verizon brands.



(At the same event, the photographer captured what appeared to be a version of HTC's Hero phone. It is expected to be the second Android phone Verizon Wireless releases. It's already available from Sprint and T-Mobile, and is more like the iPhone, lacking the slide-out keyboard of the Motorola model.)



McAdam said at the event that Verizon Wireless was putting "substantial resources" into developing and selling Android phones - an unusual initiative for a carrier that has previously relied mainly on manufacturers to supply it with competitive devices. It's not clear how much Verizon is spending on the Droid ad campaign, however.



The campaign is an important endorsement for Motorola, which started using the Android software as part of a turnaround effort. The cell phone maker is struggling to recover from a multiyear drop in sales. Motorola started selling its first Android phone, the Cliq, on Monday through T-Mobile USA. Motorola has previously made smart phones using Microsoft's Windows Mobile software, but these haven't been big sellers.



Motorola shares rose 62 cents, or 7.9 per cent, to $8.47 in Monday afternoon trading. Shares of Verizon Communications, which owns Verizon Wireless along with Vodafone Group PLC of Britain, were unchanged at $28.90.



The heavy anti-iPhone message of the ads shouldn't be taken as a sign that Verizon Wireless won't eventually carry the iPhone. Having a viable alternative to the iPhone could strengthen Verizon's hand in negotiations with Apple.



The terms of the exclusivity agreement between Apple and AT&T are secret, but there has been speculation that it could end next year.



However, the current version of the iPhone doesn't work fully on any national US network expect AT&T's, so Apple would need to produce new versions of the phone for Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint.



Sticking to one carrier doesn't appear to be Apple's long-term goal. In several countries, there are multiple iPhone carriers. Canada will soon have three, for example.

News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

Arts and Entertainment
'Africa' will be Angelina Jolie's fifth film as a director
film

Mr and Mrs Smith star admits she's 'never been comfortable on-screen'

Arts and Entertainment
Australia singer Iggy Azalea has been attacked by Eminem in a new rap
music

Singer was ordered not to 'blow her rape whistle' in song 'Vegas'

News
Myleene Klass
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
books
News
Ashton Kutcher speaking at Human Rights Watch's Voices For Justice dinner in November 2013
people'What is so wrong about digging up dirt on shady journalist?'
Life and Style
Jane Merrick rides on a Micro Scooter through St James's Park, on November 18, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was driven to a miserable death. His story is to be told in film
Sport
Qatar has very little football history

It is a crazy place to play in summer, writes Paul Scholes

Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
News
Actor Dave Prowse in his role as the Green Cross Code Man in 1982
peopleStar Wars actor to reprise his other role - as the Green Cross Man
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Brit Marling as PR woman Liz Garvey
tv

It was all about Liz’s cocaine-fuelled brainwave, 'The Metwork'

Voices
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad and Russia’s deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov flank Fifa president Sepp Blatter
voices
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Desktop Deployment Engineer

    £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A prestigious IT & Telecoms Sales and Su...

    Argyll Scott International: Senior Perl Developer

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Argyll Scott International: Senior Perl...

    Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engineer (Windows Server, Exchange Server)

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Suppo...

    Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

    Day In a Page

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

    Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines