Can Dad Have A “Star Wars” Toy Too?

| October 23, 2009 | 0 Comments

I was spending some quality father – son time with my three and half year old a few months back.  And I created a monster.  Not in a bad way… I don’t think.

You see, I thought he might enjoy watching the Star Wars movies.  After all, I loved them as a kid.

I guess the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree on this one.

Since that day, it’s been Star Wars 24/7.  We’ve seen all the movies at least a dozen times.  And the new Clone Wars cartoons have added a whole new dynamic to the story.

Then it hit a whole new level the day we went toy shopping at Wal-Mart. Oh man, there are a lot of Star Wars toys.  This must be payback for something I did to my parents as a child.

There are Star Wars toys of all shapes and sizes.  There’s almost an entire isle full of action figures, light sabers, and costumes.  But it doesn’t end there.  There’s also bedding, t-shirts, and pajamas… it’s never ending.

I can’t count how many times I heard “I want that one daddy”.  I guess I’m bit of a pushover because Star Wars has taken over my son’s room. We’ve got sheets, blankets, t-shirts, pajamas, action figures, and spaceships galore… And now there’s a Star Wars toy Dad wants too.

I want a ‘Droid’.

For those of you who don’t know, a droid is a robot.  C3PO and R2D2 are two droids playing a supporting role throughout the entire Star Wars saga.  But the Droid I want isn’t a fictional character.  It’s a new smartphone.

The Droid is a joint venture between Google (GOOG), Motorola (MOT), and Verizon (VZ).  It’s set to hit stores in November of this year.  This three-headed monster is taking aim at Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone.

You may have seen the recent iDon’t advertising campaign.  At this point, we don’t have all the details on the Droid.  We don’t even know what it looks like.  But we know it will do some things the iPhone can’t.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Droid finally breaks the iPhone’s dominance over the smartphone world.  Here’s the thing.  The success of the Droid won’t be the result of its superior features.

Its success will be because of the network and the apps.

I can tell you the only reason I don’t own an iPhone is because of the network it’s on.  The iPhone is exclusively on the AT&T network.  And their coverage in Arizona is horrible.

I know people who have owned an iPhone here.  They’ve all said half of their calls got dropped.  That’s just not acceptable.  AT&T’s 3G coverage simply isn’t up to snuff.

On the other hand, I’ve been with Verizon for the last eight years.  I’d guess less than 1% of my calls are dropped.

That’s the kind of performance I need.  What good is a fancy phone if you can’t connect to the network?

And when it comes to customizing a phone, it’s all about the apps.  Apps are short for applications.  They have apps for just about everything.  You can play games or get the latest news and investing information or order a burrito from Chipotle (CMG).  And just about anything else you can think of.

These programs are designed by other companies and sold through a virtual store on the phone.

Right now the iPhone has a dominant lead in the number off apps available.  But it won’t take long for the Droid to catch up.

I won’t bore you with all the details.  Let’s just say because of the phones open architecture, the companies who create the apps won’t have to jump through as many hoops as they do with the iPhone.

And don’t forget, Verizon has 10 million more wireless customers than AT&T does.  That number could increase quickly if the Droid is everything it’s supposed to be.

Frustrated iPhone users will drop their AT&T service like a bad habit for the more reliable Verizon network.  As the number of potential customers on the Droid increases, it will cause app makers to switch their focus from the iPhone to the Droid.

App makers are going to follow the money.  That creates a better product for Motorola and Verizon to sell.  It a win – win for everyone involved.

I’m not going to go so far as to say the Droid is the iPhone killer.

But it will be a great thing for Verizon and Motorola.  It’s creating a buzz that should get these two stocks moving.

Verizon in particular has lagged behind the rest of the market this year. And Motorola is trading for a fraction of what it commanded five years ago.  I think that’s about to change.  If you don’t already own these two stocks, now might be the perfect time to add them to your portfolio.

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Category: Stocks

About the Author ()

Corey Williams is the editor of Sector ETF Trader, an investment advisory service focused on profiting from ETFs and the economic cycle. Under Corey’s leadership, the Sector ETF Trader has become one of the most popular and successful ETF advisories around. In addition to his groundbreaking service, Corey is the lead contributor to ETF Trading Research, where he shares his insights about ETFs and financial markets on a daily basis. He’s also a regular contributor to the Dynamic Wealth Report and the editor of one the hottest option trading services around – Elite Option Trader.

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