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Update: Droid X smartphone launch set for day before iPhone 4 release

Verizon changes promo site after causing stir with mistaken claim of a 720p HD screen

June 17, 2010 06:06 PM ET
Motorola Droid X from Verizon
Motorola's Droid X will sport a 4.3-in. screen that is expected to be at a resolution of 854x480. (Verizon later changed its promotional site, shown above, noting that the device captures 720p video, rather than sporting a 720p-resolution screen, as first advertised.)

Computerworld - The mobile OS battle is joined: The next generation of the Motorola's Android-powered Droid smartphone is being announced next week, the day before the iPhone 4 ships.

Verizon Wireless is inviting reviewers and the press to a New York event labeled "Unleashing the Next Generation of Droid" at noon Wednesday, according to a Verizon spokeswoman.

Verizon officials wouldn't comment on the timing of the event, which falls the day before the iPhone 4 ships. Nor would they give the name of the new Droid device or devices. According to blog reports, however, two devices are expected to be announced. One might be called the Droid 2 or the Droid Shadow. It is expected to have a physical keyboard and less storage, in line with the needs of heavy texting users, whom all the carriers lately are trying to attract.

The other is likely to be called the Droid X or Droid Xtreme, with a touch screen, fast processing and more storage capacity. Verizon is promoting a device called Droid X on a special Web site, and it seems likely to be one of the devices being announced next week. It has a large 4.3-in. touch screen (incorrectly first advertised with a 720p screen) and an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) output port for sending video (it can capture video at 720p) and media to a high-definition TV.

The Droid-Life Web site reported this week that Verizon stores were told to open early July 19 to put the next Droids on sale. It's a date that makes sense, coming well after the iPhone 4 goes on sale. Again, Verizon would not comment on that date.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is also expected to launch a new smartphone, called the Torch 9800, in mid-July or early August that includes a new Blackberry OS.

Because Wednesday's event includes top executives from Verizon as well as Google, Motorola and Adobe, it's a safe bet that at least one of the next Droids has Flash 10.1 support, which is part of the Android 2.2 operating system, according to bloggers.

The speakers include John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless; Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google; Sanjay Jha, co-CEO at Motorola; and Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's CEO.

Bloggers have reported the next generation of Droid could include either a Droid X (or Xtreme) or Droid 2 (or Shadow), or both. The biggest difference would be that the Droid 2 would have a physical keyboard, while the X would have touch-screen input without a keyboard, like the iPhone 4.

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