It had to happen eventually. The launch of Motorola's Droid makes room for a new kind of fanboy in the tech world: The Droid fanboy, armed at last with a phone that fits with any anti-iPhone lifestyle.
Are they legion? Not yet, though the queues have formed in Boston and Manhattan, packed with people who needed a nimble touchscreen smartphone but couldn't part with Verizon Wireless. The real surge will come in the weeks and months ahead, as people use and learn to love their shiny new Droids.
Take, for instance, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, who today counted the many ways in which he loves the Droid (though he adds, "Until something better comes along.") I have a feeling iPhone fans will be hearing a lot about the Droid's better-than-your-phone features, such as the ability to dock it in a car while using Google Maps Navigation, run Internet radio in the background of another app, and switch on the fly between a physical and virtual keyboard.
But what's really needed are some classic fanboy accommodations. A fan site, DroidForums.net, should act as a home base. Next comes the commentsphere, taking the propaganda to any journalist or columnist who hasn't seen the light. You can already get an Android T-shirt (that robot is so cute!), and I don't think it'll be long until Droid-specific threads arrive.
Already, the battleground is set. Fueled by an ad campaign that attacked the iPhone, a handful of anti-Droid sites have popped up. There's Droid Doesn't, which hosts a video mocking the original Droid commercial. You'll also find a couple blogs dedicated to smearing Motorola's new phone: Droid Won't features a post called "The Android Logo is the Toilet Sign Logo," while DroidDoesNot.com proudly proclaims, "Let's face it, the Android is an iPhone with a physical keyboard."
I know the feeling. I own an iPhone, and I know it demands unwavering loyalty despite its imperfections. That's what happens when you commit $200 and two years of your life to a material object that sits in your pocket for much of the day. The Droid breeds a special group of fanboys because its attitude of choice, openness, and freedom is the iPhone's tonic, even as it commands its own smug satisfaction.
Let the flame wars begin.