Time Magazine has announced the Motorola Droid the Number 1 Gadget of 2009, beating the 3GS iPhone and labeling the Droid as the first real iPhone competitor.

The Droid runs the Android OS by Google and Time also states its the best hardware pairing over the HTC Android offerings. To be fair, it’s quite a good decision. The 3GS was a lot less ground breaking than the 3G was. Yes, ok, it had boosted specs. Yes it had a video camera. But it’s nothing compared to what Apple COULD have done.

The iPhone could have gotten a 5MP+ camera. It could have got copy-and-paste long before, or a bigger screen or a video-call camera. Apple could have tweaked the case, to make it more hard-wearing and lowered prices. The Droid on the other hand benefits from a larger, higher resolution screen (all be it a heavier and larger device) aswell as a 5MP camera, with LED flash, ZOOM (x4 Digital), Image stabilisation and Nightshot support. Other features include a higher 3G speed (10.7mbps over 7.2mbps from the iPhone) a micro-usb port and support for multi-tasking.

Have Apple sat on their laurels? We hope not. The next iPhone model (which will most likely be released between Q1 – Q3 of 2010) possibly at WWDC again will no doubt have a lot of catching up to do now, though Apple do benefit from a large fan-base and media coverage, perhaps more so than Motorola (who have partnered with Apple before to make an iTunes compatible phone). The Droid is also carried by Verizon, something many iPhone owners are crying out for over network issues.

Having said that, the sheer number of applications available for the iPhone (with giants EA and TomTom offering iPhone native apps) swings things Apple’s way.

Incidentally, the iPhone still placed 4th on Time’s list – but it should be noted that the iPhone towered over the Droid in terms of popularity. The first weekend saw 100,000 sales compared to Apples million (and over) in it’s first 3 days of retail. It’s believed the Droid is aimed more towards men, with one Motorola ad claiming the iPhone is the digital equivalent of a “tiara wearing pageant queen”.

I’m honoured to have won my first beauty contest, even if it’s because I choose to own an iPhone…