Droid X Sells Out, Verizon Cringes

Doh! Despite (widely reported) proclamations from Verizon Wireless that it was prepared for the launch of its new flagship smartphone, the Motorola Droid X sold out in many stores and online. On day one.

On Thursday Verizon made a big show of ensuring that there would be no shortages worst case scenario, the handset stock levels could be replenished from regional warehouses overnight. Stores were supplied between 50 to 100 units each, with more than 30,000 units a phone call away at those warehouses. Now, 24 hours later, that stockpile is exhausted, and the next ship date according to the website is one week away, next Friday, July 23.

At present, we feel that we have done everything possible to ensure we have inventory to meet customer needs around the Droid X  the proof will be in the execution on July 15, spokesperson Brenda Raney told media earlier in the week.

Well, Verizon clearly underestimated the demand for the Droid X, which is not necessarily a bad problem to have. But beware the backlash: The Droid X is the latest casualty of the summer smartphone shortage. Verizons Droid Incredible is backordered for at least a month, the iPhone 4 is three weeks out and the Sprint WiMAX-enabled HTC Evo 4G is suspended indefinitely. Consumers are frustrated with shortages across the board of the hottest handsets, and the disappointment of walking out of stores empty-handed after meticulous research of the options has sparked well-publicized anger among consumers toward their carriers.

Verizon had an opportunity to fling itself into the competitive breach by sheer virtue of Droid X availability a breach exacerbated by the negative publicity surrounding Apples iPhone 4 antenna issues. 

But perhaps this will be a mere hiccup. New supplies are, after all, only a week away. And the Droid X is by all accounts crave-able: It has an 8-megapixel camera, a 720p video output and a MiFi-like Wi-Fi hotspot-maker for connecting Wi-Fi devices to the Internet anytime (tethering is capped at 2GB however). It also has a 4.3-inch LCD and runs Android 2.1. As a bonus, an upgrade to the Froyo Android 2.2 OS and Flash 10.1 will come in August. It sells for $199 for new two-year activations; the Wi-Fi hotspot service is an additional $20 per month over the data plan cost.


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