Verizon’s Droid available next week


droid_fron_sm The much-anticipated challenger of the iPhone is set to be available on the market on November 6 for $199.99 after a rebate with a two-year contract with Verizon.

Although very much different from the iPhone in terms of appearance – it’s thicker and lacks iPhone’s curves, the Droid is shaking up a storm in the smartphone arena.

Along with its virtual keyboard with tactile feedback, the Droid also features a full slide-out keyboard. It also features a 5-megapixal camera, a tiny flash and a voice-activated search that brings up both contacts and location-based Google search results (pretty cool huh?). Motorola also claims a 6.4-hour talk time on a single battery charge – longer than the iPhone’s five hours.

The Droid will run on Google’s Android 2.0, the latest version of the system. The search giant also introduced in this smartphone its new mapping software that that calls out turn-by-turn directions while providing a variety of visual guides.

Throwing its largest marketing campaign ever behind the Droid, Verizon is indeed serious in challenging the iPhone and AT&T’s position in the smartphone market.

“Apple revolutionized the industry,” and the smart phone industry needed time to collect itself and figure out its next move, John Stratton, Verizon’s chief marketing officer, said at a launch event in New York.