Ben Brooks, last month, predicting the demise of Verizon's entire line of "Droid" advertising because of the arrival of the Verizon iPhone:
“Droid is dead” — is basically what I am saying here. I don’t mean that Verizon won’t ship or sell any more Droid phones, but they aren’t interested in wasting anymore money advertising the brand
-Brooks Review, Feb. 24, 2011
Today, market analyst Gregg Kail at Gerson Lehrman Group:
Verizon displays joint branding “Verizon Google” across both print and screen just a month after launching the iPhone.
Research at the Nielsen Wire reports the demographics for mobile OS with Google Android winning in 18-24 year olds but equal with Apple iOS and RIM BlackBerry in 25-34 ages. Verizon’s ad push of the latest iPhone 4 shifted to Droid after just one month. Verizon is working these three forces:
1) Demographic Appeal,
2) Price Point,
3) Keyboard Preference.
Verizon’s ad copy with Google has three Droid smartphones to match the preceding dynamics – two touchscreens with Motorola at the high end and HTC in the middle and a third phone being a keyboard slider.
-Gerson Lehrman Group, March 7, 2011
The reason Verizon briefly de-emphasized the Droid line of phones was because they like to push what's new. The most recent Droid phone (the Droid 2) had come out on Verizon almost six months prior and wasn't 4G. Now they've got some new phones with 4G capabilities to hawk.
The mobile business is all about offering the newest new thing at every moment so anyone coming off contract at that moment will be tempted to sign up for another two years. Verizon's CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, and various other execs have been crystal clear that they plan to maintain a "balanced" smartphone approach. And isn't that the smartest play if you're a carrier?