Droid release date set by Verizon for end of October

Verizon has announced a release date of Oct. 30 for its new Droid smartphone. Can the device live up to the hype?

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Days before its Oct. 30 release, Verizon has managed to stir up a good groundswell of interest in the Droid, a phone intended to compete directly with the best-selling Apple iPhone. The "iDroid" commercials have become a certified Internet phenomenon, and tech bloggers are already drooling over the possibility of an iPhone vs. Droid smackdown.

Meanwhile, Verizon has played coy. As we reported yesterday, the Boy Genius Report has published a few images of the Droid – along with a hands-on test – but the photos remain unsubstantiated by Verizon. In fact, the company hasn't released a single official image of the much-vaunted Droid. (See iDroid video below.)

The whip-'em-into-a-frenzy approach, of course, is a long-standing tradition among tech companies. And it seems to be working. "While it's unlikely the new Motorola Droid will knock the iPhone off its perch as the top consumer smartphone in the world, it could be in a position to pose the most serious challenge yet to the iPhone's unquestioned supremacy," Brad Reed writes glowingly on Network World.

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For his part, Daniel Ionescu lauds the innovative tack of the "iDroid" commercials:

What's interesting is the way Verizon decided to market the Droid. The iDon't campaign basically bashes the iPhone, highlighting some of the shortcoming of Apple's popular smartphone, such as the lack of a physical keyboard, camera flash, multitasking or lack of widgets and customization -- which, of course, Droid does.

Earlier this month, Verizon released the "iDroid" spots, which plays up the superiority of the Google Android-powered Droid. “iDon’t have a real keyboard. iDon’t run simultaneous apps. iDon’t take night shots. iDon’t allow open development,” reads anti-Apple copy posted on the Droid website. “iDon’t customize. iDon’t run widgets. iDon’t have interchangeable batteries. Everything iDon’t, Droid does.”

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