Droid to compete with the iPhone

The big news today is the announcement of the Droid, a new smartphone from Motorola and Verizon that uses Google's Android software. As Todd posted yesterday, the iPhone market share is surging ahead. But the Android market really seems to be heating up too. A press release out today from Wirefly says that five of the top 10 most-anticpated smartphones right now are Android phones, with the Droid leading the list. And clearly these devices are going to push the envelope. The Droid, as you can read in the CNet article, has some useful features. It comes with voice-activated search that not only works with Google's search engine but also with the new turn-by-turn directions for Google Maps. The phone speaks out the directions as you drive. Plus, there are already over 10,000 apps in the Android Market app store. LIke so much that Google does, the Android software is free to carriers. In fact, it's open source and based on Linux. This is a pretty powerful combination: open source and tight integration with Google's software and services. Competition is good, because it spurs further innovation. And according to news reports, the marketing campaign for the Droid will be squarely aimed at the iPhone.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.