NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It turns out "a lot" is about 100,000 Motorola ( MOT)
Droid phones sold on the first weekend. Read the updated Motorola Droid sales coverage. Broadpoint AmTech analyst Mark McKechnie estimates that Verizon ( VZ) sold more than half of the 200,000 Droid phones Motorola supplied to its stores. All Verizon would say Monday is that it sold "a lot." But 100,000 is not a lot, especially for a device that is crucial to the revival of a fallen Motorola. Nor is 100,000 a lot for Verizon, the No.1 telco hoping to hold that position by stopping customers from defecting to AT&T ( T) for the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone. "This puts the Droid debut in the same category as the Palm ( PALM) Pre, and that's a little troubling," says Nielsen wireless analyst Roger Entner.
One has to think that Plan A for Verizon was to have a blockbuster Droid and an ongoing partnership with Google ( GOOG) that would rival the winning combination of AT&T and Apple. Plan B will now almost definitely include the iPhone. "Verizon wants the iPhone and they will get the iPhone, but it certainly strengthens your negotiation hand if you have a viable alternative," says Entner. AT&T's exclusive iPhone sales agreement with Apple is set to expire next year and Verizon is widely expected to add the iconic phone to its lineup.
|More Droid Coverage|
|Droid Gets Sleepy Reception |
|Review of Droid Features |
|Verizon's Change of Heart |
|Droid Expectations & Comparisons |
These Aren't the Droids Verizon Was Looking ForMotorola's deft hand at design is showcased in the slim phone with a big brilliant touchscreen. But overall, using the phone over the past two weeks has been a mixed experience.
The big plusses like an excellent Web browser, voice search and Google Navigation are offset by major minuses like a poor camera, finicky touchscreen and a persistent Exchange email service glitch. This marked up scorecard isn't the wholehearted approval Droid needs from reviewers to give consumers a green light. Instead, consumers may be waiting for more info or different phones rather than commit to the Droid for the next two years. Motorola needs to sell at least one million Droids this year to clear the low bar set by analysts. With about 100,000 sold so far, and eight weeks to go, the bar might not be low enough. Sluggish Droid sales weigh on Motorola shares, which were down 1% to $8.88 in midday trading Tuesday. -- Written by Scott Moritz in New York