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Motorola Droid Met With Sleepy Reception

(Update includes analyst comment)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon (VZ - Get Report) and Motorola's (MOT) Droid phone sales are off to a less than auspicious start.

The Google (GOOG) Android-powered phone went on sale early Friday and if Manhattan stores were any gauge, the opening hours didn't exactly show a stampede of demand.

At the Verizon store in Lower Manhattan, there were no lines and about 30 people in the store at 7:30 a.m. A store employee said there were plenty of Droids available. Asked if that meant there were 100 available, the employee said, "about that many."

Calls to Verizon stores in Midtown and Upper East Side stores showed similar supplies. An employee at the 6th Avenue store said there were no lines when the store opened and that more than 20, but less than 100 Droid phones were available. At a 3rd Avenue Verizon store an employee said there were "a hundred at least" Droid phones available and that there were no lines when the store opened.

A Lot on the Line

The sleek, $200 touchscreen device is expected to be a strong contender against AT&T's (T - Get Report) Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone during the all-important holiday season. Motorola needs its flagship phone to be a major success if it has any hope of a turnaround for its fallen phone business.

In its biggest marketing effort ever, Verizon is positioning the Droid as its top offering of the season and a much needed alternative for customers who envy the iPhone. Motorola needs to sell a half million phones this weekend to match the iPhone's most recent splash.

Lower Manhattan 7:30am Friday Nov.6 taken by Droid phone.

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