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Verizon pitching Motorola handset against iPhone?

Never mind what Droid does, what will Droid be?

US carrier Verizon Wireless,  appears to be positioning Motorola’s second Android-based handset to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone.

In an advertisement that started broadcasting this week, Verizon turns Apple’s marketing on itself with a video that proclaims, “I0Don’t have a real keyboard, run simultaneous apps, take five megapixel pictures, customise, run widgets, allow open development, or have interchangeable batteries. Everything iDon’t, Droid does.”

While it’s entirely possible that ‘Droid’ will just be the name given to Verizon’s forthcoming portfolio of Android-based devices, it is thought that the next Android-based handset to emerge from Motorola’s labs will be officially named the Droid, and is none other than the device code named the Sholes. The word on the web is that the handset will hit shelves in the first week of November, which ties in nicely with the recent advertising pitch.

The struggling US vendor’s first Android handset known as the Cliq in the US and the Dext elsewhere, was unveiled in September but will not be available until nearer Christmas, so it might be the Droid that comes to market first.

It should be noted that Google’s Android platform won significant support from Verizon earlier this month when the carrier reached a landmark agreement to use the platform to deliver applications, services and devices. Under the agreement, the companies will devote substantial resources to putting unique Android-based handsets and applications in the hands of consumers.

But beleaguered US manufacturer Motorola has also been ratcheting up its Android strategy over the summer, hiring developers and sinking yet more resources into the platform. In July Motorola launched a new Android development resource – MotoDev, which features an app accelerator program and a studio giving developers access to a new suite of Google Android developer tools and programs, along with the opportunity to attend a Motorola summit in San Diego on October 6 for “advanced training and information gathering” on Android.

Through the program, select developers will be able to submit their applications to Motorola, paving the way for successful apps to be distributed through a variety of channels including carrier stores, the Android Market and third party distributors. In addition, the program will offer developers pre-release access to upcoming Motorola devices for testing.

Christy Wyatt, vice president of software platforms and ecosystem at Motorola, said: “We believe Android and open software has the freedom and flexibility to foster innovation, accelerate time to market, and deliver the most personal and customized mobile experiences for consumers.”

Late in 2008, Moto announced plans to slim down its handset platforms portfolio, from over 20 different combinations of operating system, silicon and user interface (UI), to just three handset platforms—Android, Windows Mobile, and its own proprietary OS, P2K, which is used on devices such as the RAZR. As a result, Motorola’s portfolio will shift to the higher end of the handset tier, although the company is gambling that over the next few years, the Android and Windows Mobile platforms will filter down through the mid-level so it can still address the mass market.


4 comments

  1. iPhone App Developer 20/10/2009 @ 1:16 pm

    ‘Verizon turns Apple’s marketing on itself with a video…’
    Time will tell…

  2. Molly Mobile 21/10/2009 @ 8:16 pm

    The Motorola Android ad is created and sponsored by Motorola and not Verizon. MOT went to VZ with the device with the goal of higher sell-through than facing comparison shopping as long as AT&T has iPhone exclusive. And MOT agreed to do the ads as part of co-op advertising with a volume commitment from VZ. Plan to make a 2010 article about how MOT Android at Verizon competes with Dell Android on AT&T.

  3. Device Dealmaker 21/10/2009 @ 8:24 pm

    Motorola is the pitcher and Verizon is the catcher on this deal.

  4. computers for less 27/10/2009 @ 5:24 pm

    The ad is good and is making look into the droid, but I don’t know how well it will do against the iPhone. I’ll be in the market for a new phone soon (oh those contracts), so I will need to put droid on the short list for now.

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