Don't look now, but we're about to see the release of the fourth generation of Verizon's Droid handset.
Rumors have been swirling for a few weeks now that the Droid 4 would arrive in mid-to-late December with the 22nd (that is, tomorrow) as the most cited date. But with less than one day to go and no announcement yet in sight, are we really to assume that the rumors won't pan out? Actually, I'm not so sure.
Although Verizon typically gives its bigger device launches a week's worth of preorders, it has been known to drop devices right into our laps with no time to spare. What's more, the carrier tends to stick with Thursday releases.
Likely or not?
Take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which arrived last Thursday. Considering all the hype around Ice Cream Sandwich and the new Nexus model, one would have expected at least a week's notice.
As it turned out, though, Big Red gave potential buyersonly a few hours to scrape together the $300 for the Android 4.0 handset. As such, I wouldn't be surprised if it simply pushed the Droid 4 out the door tomorrow. Heck, it did the exact same thing for the Droid 3 back in July.
I can't be the only one wondering why Verizon and/or Motorola would release a new smartphone so close to Christmas and not give consumers sufficient time to pick one up. Even though it would have been overshadowed by the arrival of the Galaxy Nexus, the carrier might have been wiser to release the Droid 4 last week. Or better yet, Verizon would be even smarter to wait a few weeks for a CES announcement.
Too many Droids
So let's assume for a moment that Verizon decides to wait until January to unveil the Droid 4. What kind of impact would it have on the Android landscape? A closer look shows that the specifications are definitely in line with today's top Android handsets and it would mark the first official "Droid" to feature 4G LTE support.
UPDATE: Droid 4 Delayed
It appears that Verizon has, in fact, opted to postpone the announcement of the Droid 4 for a few weeks. According to new information, the release date now looks to be February 2, 2012. Factoring this into the equation, it's possible that this could be part of a CES unveiling in early January.
Other features should include a 4-inch display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a 5-row sliding QWERTY keyboard, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and more. And with aesthetics that closely mirror the Droid Razr's, it should be able to hold its own against other announcement out of Las Vegas.
Whatever the case ends up being, I'm left with plenty of questions. Is Verizon so top-heavy with Android smartphones that it has to simply sneak some of them by consumers? What has happened to the old-fashioned Droid brand that its two most recent models are getting less-than-preferential treatment? Is it, dare I say, time to step on the brakes a bit?