BlackBerry is facing new competition for its dominance of the corporate hand-held device market. Verizon and phone-maker Motorola revealed the Droid Pro, a new Android phone that fuses a touch screen interface with a full keyboard and world-phone capabilities.
The new phone features a 3.1-inch screen, compared to the iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch screen and the Droid X’s hefty 4.3-inch screen. Neither of those two phones has a keyboard.
The Droid 2 features a 3.7-inch touch screen and slide out keyboard with bigger buttons than the Droid Pro, but there is one extra step involved any time you want to type on it.
However, inside the Droid Pro are all the top-line features Android uses have become familiar with. The phone has a 1-gigahertz processor, 512 megabytes of memory and a 2-gigbyte hard drive. The phone’s 5-megapixel camera is comparable to the ones offered by Apple and the Droid 2, but it is somewhat smaller than the 8-megapixels available on the Droid X. Shoppers are becoming less concerned about pixels and more interested in mobile features and speed.
The Droid Pro’s similarities to the Blackberry were noticed immediately.
“Motorola’s BlackBerry?” one technology blog wondered, Engadget, “The freshly-announced Moto Droid Pro’s keyboard feels like it, to be sure, and after trying it out, we believed the Motorola rep who told us they tested comparable speeds of 37WPM in several focus groups.”
The “Pro Phone” could be bad news for RIM, the company that makes BlackBerry devices. RIM’s share of the market has shrunk recently to about 2 percentage points behind Apple from April to June. In the same period, Android’s share rose 5 points.