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Droid Sales on Dull Side

NEW YORK, ( TheStreet) -- Debut weekend sales of Motorola's (MOT) Droid phone met low expectations at least.

Sales of the new $200 Google (GOOG) Android powered touchscreen phone at Verizon (VZ - Get Report) got off to a sleepy start Friday as Manhattan stores saw no customer lines and hundreds of phones available.

By Monday, a Verizon representative said "a lot" of Droids were sold over the weekend, but declined to offer a specific number. "We don't plan on releasing sales figures for the individual products," the rep said.

One thing seems clear, had Verizon hit the 1 million mark, you'd know about it. One million is a key milepost, and one that rival AT&T's (T - Get Report) Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone 3GS reached on its opening weekend in 2008.

It's all good, say some analysts who kept the bar low for Motorola's all-or-nothing gamble on the Android operating system.

"We don't believe investors expected an iPhone like launch but rather a first step in a cadence of products that will help bring Motorola's handsets out of the death spiral experienced during the past three years," Citi analyst Jim Suva wrote in a research note Monday.

Suva reports that Droid sales were "solid" based on checks at stores on the East Coast and West Coast.

Whether a solid or sluggish start, sales will get a big boost starting Monday as Verizon introduces at least three new TV ads as part of its biggest-ever marketing effort. The ads continue an anti-AT&T theme that pokes at the iPhone's performance on Ma Bell's 3G wireless network.
Lower Manhattan 7:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6. Photo taken by Droid phone.
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