Touching on the topic of why LTE will be successful during their press call this morning, Verizon tooted their own horn a bit by bringing up, curiously enough, the success of Android. To quote Verizon CTO Tony Melone:
Android really took off when Verizon got involved.
Strong words — and ones that have some Android devotees in quite the tizzy. But are they true?
Verizon wasn’t the first to launch an Android handset. That was T-Mobile.
They’re also not the one’s with the most Android handsets; that, again, is T-Mobile, with 14 unique Android handsets compared to Verizon’s 11.
They were, however, the first to really put insane amounts of effort and money behind marketing an Android device — or more accurately, a line of Android devices. Right off the bat with their first Android device, the Moto Droid, Verizon started branding all of their high-end Android devices with the “Droid” moniker.
Then they took that name and ran with it; commercial after abstract commercial, they dumped tons of resources and TV air time to their Droid line-up while firing off interest-destroying duds like this one for their other phones.
Then came the print ads.
Then, as anyone who has driven around a major city in the past few years could tell you, came the billboard ads.
There’s a reason that just about every other person refers to any and all Android phones as “Droids” (much to every Android fanboy’s dismay) — Verizon’s dumped more effort into actively marketing Android than just about anyone else, and had more success in doing it. The only folks who even really come close are Motorola, with their full-page New York Times ads and Superbowl commercials; unfortunately, the former focused mostly on bashing the iPhone, while the latter mainly focused on making you think about Megan Fox in a bath tub.
Homebrew/hacker communities are great for the geek crowds (and everyone else, in the long run), and every carrier filling their lineup with Android handsets certainly hasn’t hurt — but to convince those carriers to do so, and to really make those communities flourish, requires at least one party to have an overwhelming and resoundingly successful marketing campaign. That was Verizon.