This weekend saw the launch of the Motorola DROID cellphone. DROID’s position is a keystone in Motorola?s new phone line-up based on the Android operating system from Google. This phone, in conjunction with the CLIQ is expected to bring Motorola?s struggling handset business back to profitability and a place of respect in the mobile community.
If we are to be honest – in the past few years, most of Motorola?s offerings have been lackluster at best. The last big sales hit came with the razor-thin RAZR which was a huge sales success world-wide. But Motorola simply failed to capture the essence of a good smartphone and stuck to the RAZR design for too long. But with the refreshed management and a new course for the company; Motorola is attempting to make a comeback by introducing several new Android based phones. Now, this move may be seeing Motorola trying to do what Palm did with the Pre, turn around their philosophy and give consumers what they really want.
The DROID itself is currently available only on the Verizon network and is a 3G EVDO based CDMA phone. In a way, this is already what makes the difference between Palm Pre and Motorola’s Droid. Unlike Palm, who failed the stop the bleeding of Sprint’s network subscribes on quarter-to-quarter basis, Motorola just may have a winner on their hands with the decision to with the Verizon network. The DROID packs a long list of features that would simply be foolish to recite. The key features of this phone are the fact that it has a large 3.7" capacitive touch screen and a slide out keyboard in addition to running Android 2.0 with Google Maps with NAV. The hopes that Verizon and Motorola place on this device are that it will be considered the iPhone killer. This is based on Verizon’s commercials talking about how "DROID Does" meaning that it does things the iPhone cannot. While this appears to be true in many cases, attempting to outsell the iPhone is no menial task for anyone. This past weekend, one analyst remarked, that Verizon had sold approximately 100,000 DROID handsets which makes up approximately half of the phones that Verizon currently has on hand. These numbers definitely sound promising for Motorola and mean that they most likely have a huge success on their hands, but they are still shy of the tens of millions of phones that the iPhone itself sells each year. If Verizon can maintain these kinds of sales, they will continue to outshine other mobile carriers in profitability as well as earn Motorola some much needed profits based on the fact that they need another hit coming off of the CLIQ.
If one were to check out some of the reviews of the DROID, one would be able to see that there are quite a few positive reviews out there about this device with very few gripes and almost no major ones. Currently, the DROID looks like it will be a great success for both Verizon and Motorola and the long term success of this phone may determine the future of Motorola as a handset manufacturer. As some analysts have said, now would probably be a good time to buy some Motorola stock based on the success of both the CLIQ and the DROID.
Motorola?s current lineup of phones with the exception of the CLIQ and DROID is still a bit unimpressive, but we hope that in the future they will be able to improve their entire line up and foster more innovation and create great products like the CLIQ and DROID for more mainstream audiences.
Do bear in mind that decision to go for the open platform such as Google pays off in the long run, especially given the fact that Google acquired AdMob, the largest iPhone online advertiser. If Google is able to provide Motorola and Verizon with a solid all-around alternative to iPhone – DROID and CLIQ could achieve significant international sales as well – the minute we start seeing 3G versions for the world dominating the GSM cellphone system.