Droid

No DROID devices in nearly seven months? Oh, noes!

The Verizon HTC ONE will not be the Verizon DROID HTC One. That's probably a good thing, if only to spare us all from the cursed "DROOOOOOOOOOID" notification sound. That's not to say it won't come without any other horrid sounds, but at least can expect that one to not be there. Anyhoo. A "DROID" phone it is not.

It's been some months since we've seen a new "DROID" phone from Verizon. (That'd be the Droid DNA in November 2012.) The branding and ensuing marketing campaigns, of course, is what helped launch the first real generation of consumer-friendly Android smartphones. T-Mobile's annoying uncapitalized "myTouch" brand fizzled, HTC's original 2012 "HTC One" brand was a marketing mess, and Sony's Xperia line spans basically every letter in the English alphabet. (We got the Xperia M today, for what it's worth.)

But through it all, DROID has persisted, even if some of us dropped the all-caps spelling. The original Motorola Droid. The Droid Eris. Droid Incredible. Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global. Droid Incredible 2. Droid Incredible S. Droid X. Droid 3. Droid Charge. Droid Bionic. Droid Pro. Droid 4. Droid XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1 tablets. The Droid RAZR. Droid RAZR M. Droid RAZR Maxx and Maxx HD.

And that's just off the top of our heads.

So it's natural to question the future of the DROID brand after going nearly seven months without a new DROID device. Verizon's answer doesn't shed any light on any upcoming devices -- not that we expected it to -- but give the appearance that we've probably not yet seen the end of DROID.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, in an e-mailed response to Android Central, told us that "the Droid brand is very important to us and will continue to represent the best of the best that is exclusive to the Verizon Wireless network."

Parse that any way you want, but we wouldn't hesitate to put a little money on the arrival of a new DROID-branded device this year.

 

Reader comments

Verizon weighs in on the future of the 'DROID' brand

77 Comments

They payed Upwards of around 100 million dollars for the licensing rights for the Droid name to use, and around 200 million in advertising i read, they will run it into the ground completely and then some before they give it up.

So true. The marketing is so good, people call their non-DROID Android phones "Droids".

You are absolutely right....I hear that all the time. The non techie's have either an iPhone or a droid, that's it. Luckily that's changing as Samsung and others are pushing so much money into advertising. People finally know the name of the phone, it's not just another droid.

True. The local meteorologist on the radio at the end of every forecast says to get their free weather app - "available for iPhone and Droid." I always wonder if they even realize it also works on non-DROID Android devices. DROID == Android now to lots of folks.

That would have happened anyways. Droid is a natural abbreviation of Android and was already a part of the pop lexicon from Star Wars.
What was clever of VZW was recognizing that would have happened and seizing onto the natural momentum.

...and the "Evo" brand didn't hurt Sprint either, but I think it's time they put it to rest. These days, the "Droid" branding does not help "Android" at all and it represents a checkered past for Verizon as well.

Not that I have seen on this site. There was a big debate on another website to what the HTC One might be branded on the Verizon network.

Can't drop the DROID line; it's what helped Android grow to what it is today. Most people call any Android phone a DROID now. But seeing as Samsung and HTC are distancing themselves from the Android name, maybe Verizon is getting away from that too.

So I used to be sales rep for big red, and no one I worked with, from orientation to the retail level, knew the significance of the Droid brand, or what set it apart from other Android devices. Customers would ask me all the time what it meant, and I would always come up with some BS story about droid devices being "top of the line" *cough*.

Can anyone shed any light on the significance of the droid brand?

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, in an e-mailed response to Android Central, told us that "the Droid brand is very important to us and will continue to represent the best of the best that is exclusive to the Verizon Wireless network."

The "significance" was simply that Verizon had very effective and memorable advertising with the Droid name. They spun Motorola's boxy designs as a feature instead of a liability, and they made it seem like your Droid phone was some super-powerful robot thing.

In reality, except for the Moto exclusive phones, Droid phones were just renamed and re-themed versions of the same phones you could get on other carriers. The Droid theming, though, with the sound effects and the 2001-inspired red Droid "eyeball" background image resonated with consumers, in big part because of Verizon's expensive ad campaigns that worked hard to make that happen. The Star Wars "droid" reference didn't hurt either. It all built on the idea of an advanced robot companion.

Having said that, I think that, today, it's no longer needed. Today, people know the REAL names of at least the hero phones from each manufacturer (Galaxy, Note, One, Experia, etc.), and people WANT to know they're getting the same phone on Verizon that their friends have on AT&T or T-Mobile or Sprint. Carrier-specific names have lost their importance, and that's a good thing.

My wife says it is the robotic equivalent of flatulence. For that, I made it her incoming text notification on my phone. ;-)

When Sprint accepted the HTC One, with no name change, that was basically a death nail to the Evo line. Note: The HTC One is the first HTC phone on Sprint without the "Evo" branding since 2010.

The first HTC 'Android' phone on Sprint without EVO branding since 2010... the HTC Arrive was released in March 2011 :)

I personally don't like the carrier, ahem, "improvements" that come with the Droid branded devices (having previously owned a Droid X), but you can't fault Verizon for running this brand as long as they have. As several people above me have said, Verizon's Droid brand was huge in the success of Android, and I believe that the original Motorola Droid is as close to an iPhone "killer" that there ever was.

I still have friends and family that refer to all Android smartphones as "droid phones" and that is due to the success of Verizon's marketing.

However, my recollection is that the HTC Rezound wasn't a "droid" anything (and at the time, Big Red was pushing the "Droid Razr".)

I wonder if Disney's purchasing of LucasFilms had anything to do with it? I know that they had to pay licensing fees to LucasFilms to be able to use the term "Droid" in the first place. I wonder if either Disney or Verizon are no longer interested in renewing those licensing agreements or perhaps the new owners of LucasFilms want to put some additional restrictions that Version isn't happy with.

It helped with the creation of the Droid R2 D2 edition of the Droid 2 which I owned for 2 years before moving to the Samsung Galaxy Note II. It was a great phone that is still being used today by my daughter.

I don't know about any of the newer devices, but is the Droid Eris the only Droid branded phone that didn't have a "Droid Eye" startup?

out of the box the droid incredible didn't either...you had to add it later, until they released an update that included it

I have too much respect for the marketing of the Original Droid when it was first mocking Apple for it's "flowers and springtime" commercials to say that the "Drooooooooid" notification is cursed.

In my opinion, those commercials were the most powerful, memorable commercials that i've ever seen to sell a phone. Especially compared to the stupid crap we see today. I LOVE the notification sound of a Droid. I would port it to my S3, but it just seems wrong to use it when my phone isn't a Droid. But I LOVED it on my Razr Maxx and Bionic.

I could see Verizon branding their version of the Moto X (if they get it, which they better!) as a Droid phone. But since they already used "Droid X", probably Droid Moto X, just to make it more confusing.

It would drive me nuts when Im holding my Nexus and someone says.... Is that a DROID?
I would just say yes to not confuse them. Id say its a curse and a blessing.

In England that word is never used (probably because we'd never let 1 product have 2 names). So they are all correctly named android, or, more recently, Samsungs (regardless of the actual brand)

Everything used to be an iPhone to non techys, now everything is a Samsung.

As a long-time science fiction fan, the original Motorola Droid Stealth commercial drew me in, I totally loved the concept of phone as super-advanced technology...in part because of the marketing campaign, and in part because the OG Droid was truly an incredible piece of kit, I bought in on day one and converted my entire company from Windows Mobile (Treos and Ozones for heaven's sake) to Android. Although the brand is somewhat diluted today, I still love the hard-edged, ultra-technical cachet of the marketing, and am happy to be back in the Droid fold (DNA) after almost two years with the Rezound.

When I'm comparing my wife's iPhone4 to my Galaxy Note II, I say "It's like a phone...only smaller!"

The droid branding dilutes Google's Android brand. As soon as droid became synonymous with android device, the days were numbered. Google has to ensure that it's first and foremost a Google Android device, not a droid. A company's "brand" is worth billions, and they'll do whatever it takes to protect it.

That said, Verizon is a key partner to Google, so any retiring of the droid name as it refers to devices was no doubt handled delicately by Google.

Its all speculation of course, but I don't doubt there were deals cut between the two.

My Droid 2 Global has been a trooper for me since launch.Started having serious issues the last 3 months. It's about to be laid to rest tomorrow when my GS4 arrives.

Don't recall a Droid Incredible S, as I remember it, the Incredible S was the international version of the Droid Incredible 2 but not a Droid.

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Ugh. I hated that brand since the beginning. I love Android... but I hate it when I hear people say "so you got a DROID?" or something.. Yeah, no doubt Verizon marketed the crap out of that name.

There is a reasonable excuse for the delay in Droid phones. "Droid" is a registered trademark owned by Lucas Arts, well..was until Disney purchased it in November. Droid DNA contract had already been created so everything was fine with that. I'm sure they've been in contact with Disney to renew the previous contract. Personally I feel they should drop the brand altogether. However with new Star Wars movies on the horizon I'm sure they'll see it as another marketing boom in the next 2 yrs.

Branding and marketing at their finest because there are still people out there who ask "what DROID is that?".

I think the keyword in Verizon's response is "exclusive." I have a feeling they'll save DROID branding for handsets that are exclusive to Verizon in the US. In their eyes they don't want to dilute the DROID brand with non exclusives.

Right all that Carrier branding of the phone seems dumb to me. The one thing we love is the phone not the carrier, it's just one more way carriers say we own you, your wallet, and you mess with us we'll give you a wedgie and then take over your credit score

So could Lucas selling to Disney have any impact on the absence of any Droid labeled Phones? Perhaps the Mouse's Lawyers are working to recover the licence.

How about sending a follow-up question to Verizon:

Are you going to continue the line of numbered Droid phones with physical keyboards? In other words, will there be a Droid 5? QWERTY-lovers want to know!

Agree.. I was forced into a Droid Razor when I lost my Droid 3. It has been almost a year since I have had it and I STILL miss the physical QWERTY! I have been waiting for Droid 5 news for a while now and haven't heard anything yet. I'm really hoping they do release a Droid 5 and I'm sure that if Motorola hasn't had a new Droid line phone in months then they are completely overhauling the line and will eventually surprise everyone with new and amazing things. All I ask is for one phone with the keyboard.

me, being the smartass that i am, asked a company that sold bluetooth speakers for iphone and "droid" phones if it worked for all android phones or just the droid line...they didn't get it and replied that they just relay information given to them by the manufacturer