We'd been hearing rumors lately that HTC's Droid Eris -- a phone that has never quite made it out from under the Droid's shadow -- is in the midst of being discontinued by Verizon, but the imminent launch of an Android 2.1 update might just buy it a new lease on life. In fact, the update makes this phone just about the first Hero variant anywhere in the world to be graced with an upgrade to Google's latest and greatest stuff, beating Sprint's version thanks to a string of delays that have pushed it out to some unidentified period in the second quarter. We've yet to see any reports of folks actually receiving the update notification on their devices, but Verizon's official support Twitter account is tweeting about the upgrade -- which should fix numerous bugs on top of the hotly-anticipated Eclair boost -- so we'd expect it to start hitting the wild shortly. Keep us on top of your experiences in comments, won't you?

[Thanks, Richard]

Update: Verizon has now posted the PDF changelog for your perusal while you wait. Thanks, Michael V.!

Update 2: It has begun... but this OTA update is being brewed in small batches, it seems, as we're getting reports from Droid Eris owners that have received their Eclair update each and every day.