5 Things That the DROID Can't Do
The latest iPhone killer, the DROID, has been unleashed upon the masses! It's got all these features and benefits that the iPhone doesn't have, like swappable batteries.
Oh, thanks. I guess.
Look, I'm all about companies delivering new products that challenge the iPhone. But the DROID (and every other smartphone touted as the "iPhone killer" to date) doesn't innovate -- they're matching features and trying to convince us they can do what Apple does, and more of it. Worse, most of these "features" that the iPhone doesn't have generally kill performance and battery life.
No smartphone has yet to seriously challenge the iPhone, yet. This will probably remain true after the marketing dollars for the DROID disappear, which apparently fails to do some very basic things:
DROID can't communicate clearly
If you're gonna take on the iPhone, you need to let your customers talk on the phone. Apparently, the DROID is experiencing issues with sound. Some people on the Motorola forums are complaining of "clipping" and "echoing," a "tinny" quality to incoming sound, while "the OUTPUT quality is garbage."
Motorola's forum manager offers a solution to the echo problem, however:
"If the caller on the other end is complaining of an echo, I've found that if I quicky (sic) turn the speakerphone off and on it goes away. I've experienced that a couple of times. Otherwise my sound quality has been fine."
Good for you, corporate stooge, but probably not quite the answer your customers seek.
DROID can't focus
So, the DROID's nifty new camera that's supposed to outperform the iPhone's? Not so much. Apparently, you turn on the camera and—TA DA—the image is blurry.
A "rounding error" bug in the DROID's "camera driver’s auto-focus routine that uses a time stamp." What does that mean? This:
Your camera will focus fine, for 24.5 days. Then for the next 24.5 days, your camera will be as useful as partnering with your 90-year-old grandma to play Scrabble.
DROID can't keep it on
Every time haters get a chance to list of the things they hate about the iPhone, invariably one hears, "You can't change the battery! OMG!"
Nevermind that 93.5% of smartphone users don't--and don't want to-- carry an extra battery around. (Okay, I made up that stat, but I know exactly one person who does carry an extra, and she's a sales director who cannot afford to run out of juice.)
So DROID, like every other "smart"phone out there, lets you swap out your battery. Unlike others, though, DROID almosts demands you keep a second battery on hand because the battery cover keeps sliding off.
Complaints range from "not very snug" to "it slid off in my hand" to "it falls off all the time when I'm pulling the phone out of my pocket."
DROID can't make people feel safe
You saw the "Stealth" commercial:
Wicked military jets dropping bombs. People fearing for their lives. Horses freaking out. Creepy sound effects and menacing music. Mystery abounds and scares the hell out of us!
Even better is the "iDon't" commercial: Starts off with an Apple-esque approach to advertising, set to lively music, but then starts listing off what Apple doesn't do (most of which is a good thing, in my opinion)...
...but then it's disrupted by the uber-creepy sounds of human-hunting robots announcing "DROID," set to some industrial nightmare scenario that simply forbids description.
Contrast that to the cute iPhone commercials that basically reassure everyone that, yes, you can do whatever you want with this thing (except ditch AT&T), you'll have fun doing it, and hey, here's some fun, pokey music to set you at ease.
Who's behind the marketing of DROID, anyway?
DROID can't get girls to like you
When I got my first iPhone, girls were all about checking it out. "Wow, it's so simple, it's like magic," they would (generally) say, awed and delighted.
Ah, that was a good time of life...
I'm not saying that every smartphone that comes out should evoke the ooos and awws of Apple's geniusphone--though if you can pull it off, you should.
I am saying that when you're going head to head with the iPhone, you have to do something different.
Don't make your smartphone look the same as the iPhone. Don't provide unessential features (like swappable batteries) and create some ballyhoo that you've one-upped Apple. Don't add "features" like multi-tasking (which kills batteries, thus the need for a second one).
Don't copy. Don't paste. Create. Think different!
Easier said than done, I know. But Apple seems to pull it off rather neatly almost every time. So why can't a dozen-plus cellphone manufacturers around the world do something compelling and innovative?