The Droid and iPhone War

December 16, 2009

The mobile devices market moves so quickly it’s often hard to keep up and while some industries enjoy a certain amount of brand loyalty, technology lovers are a fickle group. Blackberry has maintained a significant following for several years and although it is still the popular choice for many business-oriented users, iPhone has taken the market by storm and gained a huge amount popularity this past year.  While not the only available touch screen Smartphone, it has been the best marketed. Until now, that is.

Verizon and Motorola have invested an enormous amount of time and money in a grand attempt to steal some of the iPhone’s thunder with their recent launch of the Droid.   Since AT&T became the exclusive iPhone provider, Verizon has been bleeding customers to iPhone fans who have not yet found a decent competitor supported on the Verizon network.  Now there is one with capabilities to match it or even exceed it, but finding a way to break through in a cluttered market and knock iPhone off the throne will take a serious push that both Verizon and Motorola have prepared for.  

Spending approximately $100 million, the two companies have launched a war of a campaign against AT&T and Apple, making direct attacks against their network, phone capabilities, as well as their target audience.  But can this highly antagonistic approach work?  According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, it is working.  In November, Motorola managed to surpass Apple for the Male 18+ demographic while Blackberry sank even farther below the two brands.

YouGov BrandIndex

The Motorola Droid and Verizon campaign has been an all out assault on the iPhone and Apple.  While Verizon has been tearing apart AT&T’s weaker network coverage, Droid has turned Apple’s own “iProduct” gimmick on them with the iDon’t attack ads, challenging the phone’s capabilities.  In addition, both campaigns have also lampooned the phone’s “frilly” or “girly” appearance and appeal, attempting to snatch some of the heavily male iPhone base that can be swayed to a “manlier” alternative.

Now on the defense after this scathing attack, Apple and AT&T have been completely thrown off course and have to quickly respond with a campaign to address these issues.  It has been an aggressive, but a really brilliant campaign that has knocked around the highly skillful Apple team during the holiday season.  So which brand will emerge victorious in 2010?  We’ll see.  The Droid is off to an amazing start, but the iPhone isn’t going away anytime soon.