iPhone

Podcast: Will business users take the bait on the Verizon Droid?

The Verizon Droid launches Nov. 6 amid a lot of hype and anticipation. It's also being aimed at business users. We discuss how it measures up.

Podcast

The Verizon Droid launches Nov. 6 amid a lot of hype and anticipation. It's also being aimed at business users. We discuss how it measures up.

The Big Question is a joint production from ZDNet and TechRepublic that I co-host with ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan. Larry is on vacation this week so there are two guests, Bill Detwiler, Head Technology Editor for TechRepublic, and Andrew Nusca, an editor for ZDNet and SmartPlanet.

You can play this 25-minute episode from the Flash-based player at the top of the page or:

Stories discussed in this episode:

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

22 comments
jasocher
jasocher

I see small business really jumping on this phone. Personally, I like the phone, software and carrier a lot and will be rolling it out in my business.

gordor
gordor

holding out for the Palm Pre

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

AT&T is friggin' horrible with coverage. Even when I travel internationally with my AT&T Moto Q, I generally don't get as many bars as the locals. The only reason people are still with AT&T is because of the iPhone. If it wasn't for that AT&T would not have survived. I'm looking forward to the Droid and possibly even trying it out with corporate email and such...now if Verizon just had a reasonable international option...

bryantwalley
bryantwalley

But the capacitive screen killed the deal. Put a resistive screen on it and I'm all in. Way to many limitations on the capacitive screen.

Sensor Guy
Sensor Guy

RIM has certainly got the best single purpose minded (email) product. However, if they don't breakout from a technological and marketing basis they'll just be like Heath, Altair and Osborne. Gtreat starts in the market, a great product but a single good, great yet dying solution. The winners will eventually provide and give corporate of mass individual customization through 3rd party developed applications.

Sensor Guy
Sensor Guy

RIM has certainly got the best single purpose minded (email) product. However, if they don't breakout from a technological and marketing basis they'll just be like Heath, Altair and Osborne. Gtreat starts in the market, a great product but a single good, great yet dying solution. The winners will eventually provide and give corporate of mass individual customization through 3rd party developed applications.

cdpitcock
cdpitcock

I envy you. Too late for me.

drew.mcbee
drew.mcbee

I am looking forward to the droid. I don't usually get the lastest/greatest ( because they are usually just toys as someone already said ), but I might try this one out. using BB pearl now and happy with it. In regards to coverage, Verizon has been pretty good - there isn't anywhere that I don't get coverage so far. I had ATT for about a week and switched providers. iPhone was popular for mainstream users because it was trendy and has lots of bells and whistles ( games ).

bossei
bossei

I love the Droid as a consumer however it lacks a lot of basic business tools and security. The later is my biggest concern. Email (specifically Exchange) support is lacking in many ways. I think it's a great tool and one that will continue to improve. Just like the iPhone they will continue to do enhancements and pretty soon I'm sure the email issues shall be resolved. ActiveSynch is a big problem for the Droid. I would also like to see more security built into the device just like the Blackberry phone has. With all that being said Verizon has the best network. If you are a small business with a small amount of employees and you need basic email functionality this phone would definitely work for you. Google Apps are integrated so you as a small business you will have all the tools you need. From that perspective I will roll this out to small businesses. It's a good start and I'm a big fan but it's not ready for the big corporate world just yet. Small businesses take a look!

Sensor Guy
Sensor Guy

I've heard from two sources that Verizon will be raising by a factor of two the early termination fees for those getting contracts for smart phones from $175 to $350.

cdpitcock
cdpitcock

I haven't seen the phone. I have already suggested it to people as an alternative to not the iPhone but to AT&T. I resisted the iPhone for the longest time even though I needed an upgrade because I wanted to upgrade away from AT&T. "3G" is slower than anything since dial up and it is gone altogether in my home area. Much of the apps are silliness so who needs 100K of them. As a traveling business user, I need easy to use email, browser, google maps, and a few other useful apps. I would have bought the Droid if it had come out just a few months ago.

bluebke
bluebke

I was hoping one of the topics of this podcast would have been how the two phones differ in enterprise security and what challenges/limitations each phone brings to the table.

Sensor Guy
Sensor Guy

The initial market battle lines are being drawn and the religious product cults getting firmed up. Although Apple has certainly reaped the first to market riches, now comes the adoption phase of the market, where the real consumer gets to evaluate each option, warts and all. There's always the possibility that the true market doesn't accept all this cost and glitz at all, but the RIM and iPhone experience have pretty much eliminated that possibility. The one refreshing aspect to this epic marketing and technology battle is that the traditional monopolistic stalwarts, Microsoft and IBM, are both non-existent so we have a new set of players. IBM's concentrating on "infrastructure" and whatever services scraps they can get. Microsoft's marketing engine for CE is still sputtering but might soon figure out their business models won't work here. Yes, both side will get even more developers and some "enterprise" (whatever that means) IT pros will start to be dragged into the maelstrom. The usual "boutique applications" have started rolling out. The real stuff has yet to show up. This is only the begining. Kinda like 1981. They are still toys, but we are closer to real applications other than corporate email.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

But then again, if you listen to Oz_Media, these are just toys so maybe they won't :) http://bit.ly/1B9LpL The question is to what extent? Will it be the next iPhone? Will it be the next Blackberry? Or will it be just another small player? IMHO, it'll be just another choice among an increasingly crowded market. I think it'll be successful, just not as successful as some of its predecessors since it wasn't among the first to the market.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

this one is tolerable. I didn't really notice and it didn't annoy me.

echiriff
echiriff

I had Verizon and T-Mobile and I have to say I don't know what's the deal with Verizon vs. AT&T. I now have had AT&T (since the first iPhone came out) with the iPhone 3GS and haven't had any problems. I had problems with the other two. Dead zones, lack of international service. I have been to South America and Europe and AT&T (through roaming) has not let me down.

echiriff
echiriff

The problem with these Operating Systems is that (just like Windows CE or Mobile) they are not specifically designed to take advantage of a specific hardware, like the iPhone. It's just another OS. Developers will still have to deal with different hardware from different phone manufacturers which will make it difficult to create the sort of apps that you see for the iPhone. Will they be willing to put that much effort to support different hardware? will they only concentrate on the Droid leaving the other Android phones stranded? And still, they have no iTunes for music or video or books. Nor the worldwide user base. Verizon doesn't offer (yet) international service, so it's a local platform, for now at least. I'm sure a lot of people will buy into it, but it will be a lot of different phones. Same as Windows Mobile. The Google name brand might help, but Microsoft is just as big and it didn't do a lot for their platform.

drew.mcbee
drew.mcbee

Some like Ford, some like GM. Mostly has to do with what your particular experience is. Mine, and many others I believe, has been bad with ATT. If it works for you - okay. The thing is that many folks live with sub-standard coverage in order to have the latest "greatest" device - or at least to be able to say they have it.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

International: go to Stuttgart, tell me how many bars you have National: You won't get 3G in most of New York, in huge portions of the midwest (Schaumberg, IL comes to mind) and you'll drop calls in tons of areas. I'm in East Texas right now and the coverage SUCKS.

Scott
Scott

Good point about app developers supporting various hardware. When you develop for iPhone you have a guaranteed screen resolution and only a couple of different hardward configurations to handle (iPod Touch vs iPhone). This takes a lot of the guesswork out of development. However, I have to imagine that most developers of mobile apps have a background in developing for the web and/or desktop, so we are used to coding for generic hardware. I think that the open development (Java/eclipse) along with the ability to multi-task and to have interactions between different 3rd party apps will appeal to a much greater developer base than Objective-C and Cocoa Touch. I expect the number of apps for Android to "Eclipse" the number of apps for iPhone within a year. (Sorry for the bad pun!)