Droid, Chapter 2: The Incredible

It’s here folks, "the next chapter in the Droid Saga" (to quote Verizon Wireless).  The Incredible by HTC is the latest Android phone released at Verizon.  After the success we saw with the Droid at the end of 2009, it made me wonder how the Incredible has fared in attracting interest prior to launch.  To do so, I started by comparing the volume of traffic to each phone’s microsite in the days leading up to launch.

  • Microsite traffic for the Droid is taken from droiddoes.com and the page it refers to: phones.verizonwireless.com/motorola/droid.  Microsite traffic for the Incredible is taken from phones.verizonwireless.com/htc/incredible.
  • At announcement (10/18/2009), the Droid had 221,000 unique visitors.  The Incredible only had 30,000 unique visitors on its announcement day (4/14/2010).  The Droid drew over 7.0x more interest on its announcement day.
  • The difference in launch-day interest has a similar proportion: the Droid had 7.3x more unique visitors than did the Incredible.

The Droid, Verizon’s flagship Android phone, had a huge advertising campaign attached to its announcement and launch.  It therefore stands to reason that the original Droid would get a lot more interest volume than the “second chapter” Incredible.  Consumers are already quite familiar with the Droid brand from Verizon, so there wasn’t the same launch "buzz" that Verizon attracted with the introduction of its first Android phone.   It is interesting to note, however, that we still see traffic spikes at announcement, price announcement, and launch day, suggesting that Verizon’s pre-launch strategy is having a positive effect on interest levels.

I dug a little deeper to compare the traffic to the two phones, looking this time at the pre-launch traffic as a share of launch-day traffic.  The chart below shows the daily traffic as an index to launch-day traffic to the main microsite for both the Droid and Incredible. Here we see a slightly different picture.

  • The Droid had 60% of launch-day traffic at announcement, and 46% at the price announcement.
  • The Incredible shows 90% of launch-day traffic at announcement, and 80% at the price announcement.

The higher shares of launch-day interest for the Incredible during pre-launch suggest that the Incredible is pulling more of its interest from an established niche market for the Droid line of phones at Verizon Wireless.  The much lower interest shares for the Droid suggest that part of the high traffic volume we saw on the first graph is in fact novelty or curiosity interest, and not necessarily people in the market for an Android phone.

Now that the Droid line has been established, the Incredible cannot be expected to draw the sheer volumes of interest that we saw for the first chapter of the Droid line.  Despite these lower interest volumes, the Incredible is likely drawing interest from consumers who are in the market for an Android phone, and who are thus more likely to purchase.  It will be interesting to see if this niche market interest in Droid phones continues as Verizon expands the Droid line.