Verizon Wireless said the launch of its third Droid smartphone later today (Thursday) proves its commitment to the Android platform, apparently scotching rumors it will launch a CDMA iPhone.
The US carrier is widely-tipped to be preparing to launch the iPhone in January, but said the launch of Motorola’s Droid 2 later today showed it is committed to the Google platform.
Jeffrey Dietel, vice president of marketing at Verizon’s handset division said the launch of the Droid 2 was a “continuation of our commitment to Android,” started when the carrier launched the original device in November 2009.
He said the carrier had already followed-up on that commitment with the launch of the Droid X mid-July and that the carrier was keen to continue offering subscribers access to the “unique Android experiences.”
Wires have been buzzing all week with news that Verizon is set to launch an iPhone after AT&T’s exclusive term ends, after TechCrunch reported Apple has ordered millions of CDMA chipsets from Qualcomm to build the device.
Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha yesterday told the Oppenheimer technology conference he was unconcerned by the rumors, stating he believed the carrier would not stop backing Android even if it does sell Apple’s device, electronista.com reported.
Verizon will charge $200 (€155) for the Droid 2 with a two-year contract.
Bill Ogle, Motorola’s chief marketing officer, said the smartphone, which features a slide-out qwerty keyboard and runs the latest version of Android, was a “big leap forward from the original.”
Its success will play a key part in continuing a turn-around at Motorola’s devices division, with the original Droid credited with helping the business overturn an operating loss of $287 million in 2Q09 with a profit of $87 million in 2Q10.
If those figures don’t make the original Droid a tough enough act to follow, research firm NPD said it also topped the list of Android smartphone sales in the US during the quarter.