Skip the navigation

Droid launch draws tech-savvy crowd to Verizon store

Early adopters want the phone's multitasking ability and Verizon's network

November 6, 2009 11:31 AM ET

Computerworld - Hoping to buy new Motorola Droid smartphones, more than 20 people waited in line in 40-degree weather for the 7 a.m. opening of a Boston-area Verizon Wireless store.

The launch was repeated at hundreds of Verizon stores nationally early today, including a midnight opening at the downtown Manhattan Verizon store where a crowd also gathered, Verizon officials said. A downtown Boston Verizon store also had a small crowd turn up for the Droid's opening day.

Early sales were brisk, according to Verizon. The device costs $200, after a $100 rebate and with a two-year wireless service contract.

In an upscale section of Newton, Mass., called Chestnut Hill, two computer analysts who work at a nearby health care company were the first in line at 5:30 a.m. They finished their separate purchases of Droids by 7:30 and rushed off to work, smiling.

Seth Drasner with Droid
Seth Drasner, an accountant, shows off the Droid smartphone he bought at the Verizon Wireless store in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The two analysts, David Perrone and Matt McCarthy, said they will use their Droids to access both personal and work e-mail services and to take advantage of the device's broad array of multimedia functions. Both said the ability to multitask, such as playing some music programs like Pandora, while reading e-mail, is a clear advantage that Droid has over the iPhone.

Perrone said he bought a Droid because he wanted to continue using wireless service from Verizon, the carrier he has used for a while. He did say that he likes the iPhone but noted that it is exclusive to AT&T and he is not prepared to change carriers to get one.

"I can't change to AT&T for the iPhone," Perrone said. "I see the Droid as competing with iPhone."

McCarthy said he is much less interested in owning an iPhone than Perrone is. As the two men stood in line before doors opened in the brisk fall air, a work colleague drove up in a sporty BMW and tapped his horn. "Take your iPhone," McCarthy said to the man in the car, laughing. "He recently got an iPhone, but not me."

Two guys with Droid phones
David Perrone, left, and Matt McCarthy, both computer analysts, were first in line at the Chestnut Hill Verizon Wireless store in the Boston area to buy the Droid smartphone.

Both Perrone and McCarthy said they expect to spend about $100 to $110 a month for voice, data and texting service. McCarthy said he will use the device for some work functions, so he expects to be reimbursed for about $30 of that monthly cost.

In addition to a Droid and a new two-year contract with Verizon, Perrone also scored one of the rare Droid desktop docking stations, which will give him the ability to easily charge the device and read its display.

Our Commenting Policies