Stealing the Spotlight: Verizon Aims At Apple's iPhone 4 With Droid X

Verizon and Motorola announced the Droid X on Wednesday, a day before Apple's iPhone 4 launch.
Verizon and Motorola announced the Droid X on Wednesday, a day before Apple's iPhone 4 launch.

A day before the much-anticipated launch of Apple's (AAPL) highly touted iPhone 4 on Thursday, Verizon Wireless (VZ) announced it has added the Motorola Droid X to its smartphone arsenal. The news gives the company another boost in its bid to unseat rival AT&T (T) and its iPhone lineup.

And by timing the sleek Motorola-Google handset's unveiling on Wednesday, Verizon was able to direct some of the limelight away from Apple. It also received the added benefit of a survey released Wednesday by mobile software platform company Appcelerator, which shows that 90% of the developers from large corporations said they were "very interested" in Google's (GOOG) operating system, compared to an average of 81% overall. Google's mobile operating system, Android, is used in the Droid X and has been gaining on Apple's iPhone operating system in recent months.

"Nine months ago, we made a commitment to our customers to bring the openness of Android to the Verizon Wireless network," John Stratton, Verizon Wireless chief marketing officer, says in a statement. "Since then, we have introduced the top-selling Android phone in the marketplace today -- the Droid by Motorola (MOT). Droid X takes that commitment to another level with exclusive content, faster processing speeds, and, of course, the reliability of our network."

Adding Some Flash

With Droid X, Verizon hopes to capture the attention of customers who are longing to use Adobe's Flash Player on their smartphones. The phone will feature Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1, with an update planned later this summer. The update is expected to allow customers to access rich applications, such as games, music, video and data presentations, directly from the browser.

But a fight over Flash has been brewing between Adobe and Apple for quite a while. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently declared the company would no longer support Adobe Flash, even though some iPhone users are calling for it. Verizon is angling to catch these users by using the Droid X's Flash capability as a lure.

"We are excited about full Flash support coming to the Droid X and other devices from Motorola," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen says in a statement. "Flash Player 10.1, which is one of Adobe's most anticipated releases ever, has been redesigned from the ground up to deliver the kind of highly engaging experiences that consumers now expect from their mobile devices."

Verizon Wireless will be begin selling Droid X in its stores and on its website beginning July 15. The phone will retail for $199.99 after a $100 rebate and a new two-year customer agreement.