John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Better Stop Holding Your Breath for a Verizon iPhone

vzcancel-150x150If Verizon is in talks with Apple to become the second U.S. carrier for the iPhone, they evidently aren’t going very well. How else to explain this iPhone-slagging ad campaign for Verizon’s forthcoming Android handset, Droid? (Click on video below.)

“iDon’t have a real keyboard
iDon’t run simultaneous apps
iDon’t take night shots
iDon’t allow open development
iDon’t customize
iDon’t run widgets
iDon’t have interchangeable batteries
Everything iDon’t
DROID DOES”

Shown on Fox and CBS (CBS) during a pair of NFL football games Sunday afternoon, the ad clearly positions Droid as the mythical iPhone killer. And while that might seem foolhardy, perhaps even hubristic, those who’ve seen the Motorola (MOT)-designed device say it’s at the very least a worthy iPhone rival.

Says Boy Genius: “[This is] the Android device to beat, and easily the most impressive. From what we’ve been told, Google had a direct hand in the Motorola Droid. Something to the point of almost dictating every move Motorola made when designing and making the phone….the Droid, even in its non-final form, is the most impressive phone we’ve used since the iPhone. It’s positively amazing.”

A gushing endorsement of an unreleased device and as such, to be taken with a grain of salt. That said, it’s hard to believe Verizon (VZ) would go all out here without good reason. And make no mistake, the company is going all out, even to the point of licensing the “Droid” trademark from Lucasfilm.

This past weekend’s TV commercial and a Droid teaser site are clearly the beginning of a major marketing push intended to position Droid as the Apple (AAPL) iPhone’s better, or at least its equal. Little wonder then that Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt was so upbeat about Android’s future during the search engine company’s earnings call last week.

“Android adoption is literally about to explode,” Schmidt said. “You have all the necessary conditions, you have the vendors, you have the distribution and so forth. This is a very critical period with all of everything being delivered.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald