Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Droid Bump

So Google and Verizon released the Droid on Friday, with a huge marketing push. And they must be selling the things pretty well, because a number of devs in the discussion groups are reporting an increase in downloads, in some cases up to 100% more than their daily average.

I'm not seeing that big an increase, but I am getting a bump. It's more in the 20-30% range, but it is significant.

I've seen +$100 net revenue every day since Friday, and Sunday was a record high. Here's hoping it keeps up!

The rankings in the market are weird. My Dominoes game (which has only been out about 3 weeks) is about to pass my Golf Solitaire game (which has been out about 6 months) in sales. They cost the same price. The only difference is the ratings...GS is about 4.5 stars, while Dominoes is nearer 4 stars. The retention rate for Dominoes is actually a couple of percentage points higher. I don't think anyone knows exactly how rankings are computed, but it has been speculated that it's likely a combination of downloads, ratings, and retention, hopefully with some way to filter out scamming. Meanwhile, Golf Solitaire is holding steady at #3 in its category, while Dominoes hasn't moved from #8 in about a week. It's going to be very strange if Dominoes surpasses GS in sales, has a higher retention rate, and is still ranked lower.

Anyway, it's very nice to have two apps in the top ten in their category, both selling well. And InfusionCalc has also seen a bump in sales and climbed back to #10 in its category after sliding out of the top 10. I was trying to find out if there was a review or mention of it somewhere, but I couldn't find anything new. It could just be that a lot of nurses and paramedics just bought Droids.

I was in a Verizon store yesterday and a guy in scrubs was buying a Droid, so who knows? Speaking of which, I probably won't be getting a Droid, at least not right now. Their price plan would have me paying $15 a more per month than what I'm paying with T-Mobile, which might be worth it to insure that I have 3G coverage here at home. The T-Mobile rep assured me that 3G would be in place in Lafayette by the end of November. Right now the network is a little slow, but it's fine for my purposes...email and very light browsing. It's like being back on dialup. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with either of the reps at either of the two Verizon outlets I visited this weekend. What I really wanted to see on the Droid was how well it browsed the internet, rendered video, and I wanted to handle the hardware keyboard. The guy at the mall had let the battery drain out of the only test model they had and didn't have a working power cord. Okay. At the other store, the rep let me handle a phone fresh out of the box, but didn't have one with an account configured, so again I couldn't test how it performed on the network.

So I'll just wait. The G1 seems outdated, even though I've had it less than a year. But it's still a solid phone, and not worth ditching for the current generation. The Droid is the nicest phone out right now, but for me it's not worth either paying +%500 for the phone and going month-to-month, or being locked into a contract for $15 a month more than what I'm paying now. Android phones are coming out fast, and I'd like to be off-contract so I could upgrade and potentially move between carriers whenever I want. The current generation of Android phones are all sporting around 500MHz processors, but I know there are 1GHz phones in the pipeline, and hopefully one of those will be released by the end of the year and will be compatible with my T-Mobile service, which will hopefully be upgraded to 3G in my area.

Until then I'm staying put, but I'm certainly happy that lots of other people are either switching carriers or upgrading to new Android phones.

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