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Motorola Should Steal Some of Droid's Spotlight

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droid-by-motorola-front-open-vzw-eye1We’re only a few hours into the official Droid era, but already it appears that Motorola’s (s mot) bet on Google’s (s goog) mobile OS was a good move. The first Android 2.0 device is conjuring memories of the iPhone’s debut, prompting techies to line up by the dozen in Manhattan, inspiring a tweeting frenzy on Twitter and helping to boost shares of the Schaumburg, Ill.-based phone manufacturer. But to fully leverage all the hype, Motorola should invest in ads that push its brand and increase consumer awareness.

Verizon Wireless isn’t the largest carrier to join the Android bandwagon — that honor goes to Vodafone, which launched the HTC Magic in February — but the debut of the Droid looks to be the operating system’s biggest single step since Android debuted with the HTC G1 last year. And while Verizon is also launching the $100 HTC Eris today, Motorola clearly has more at stake in the Google/Verizon tie-up than any other OEM. In fact, Droid “promises to reverse Motorola’s fortunes” in mobile, according to a statement this morning from iSuppli:

“Droid is potentially a game changer for Motorola,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst, wireless communications for iSuppli. “Motorola now is no longer just emphasizing slick form factors, such as it did with its RAZR handset. The company now has focused on the hottest segment of the global mobile handset market — providing compelling smartphone products that are usable and expandable through third-party applications.”

Indeed, Motorola wisely joined the Android bandwagon ahead of some of its competitors, and it appears to have produced a compelling handset at a competitive price. Just as importantly, it is benefiting from a big-budget marketing campaign backed by the nation’s largest carrier. But that campaign is focused entirely on Verizon Wireless and its Droid initiative — not on Motorola or any other manufacturer. For Motorola to fully leverage the momentum it’s gaining from the launch of the Droid, it should produce its own marketing campaign to push its suddenly hot brand — just as HTC is doing with its compelling “You” campaign.

14 Responses to “Motorola Should Steal Some of Droid's Spotlight”

  1. Phil Tolhurst

    I’ve been following the Droid launch etc with interest from this side of the ‘pond’.

    As far as I can tell there’s no sign of the Droid over here, but we’ve got the Cliq, branded as the Dext instead. What Motorola are doing over here is to push Motoblur, the user interface they have developed for the device that sits over the Android OS on the device.

    This leads me to beleive Motorola are more interested in pushing there software than any one specific device. I have to conclude that this is because they have, as far as I am aware at least 4 Android phones planned : – Iron Man, Calgary, Cliq and Droid. I suspect they may release even more.

    The interesting thing will be whether people by an Android phone for Android, Motorblur (or other user interface like that on the Sony X10/HTC Hero) or because of Brand Loyalty.

    I phone bought my HTC Magic because I wanted an Android phone and that was the best one I could get for what I wanted to pay. Nokia should be wary I broke my brand loyalty to them with my N95 8gig being my last Nokia phoen.

    If you’re interested a good list of Android phones is here:

    Hopefully I haven’t bored you all to tears.


  2. why does it matter if Motorola slaps their name on the campaign? it would be an overkill with all the media already running.

    if you buy the DROID from verizon now, it’s still from Motorola and they profit

    • Moto needs to build some brand equity to help repair their business. Unfortunately for them, Verizon is sucking all the air out of it, as they have clearly taken the front seat, and Motorola is merely going along for the ride. A year from now, this Motorola droid phone will be just one of many in the market, and Google and Verizon will control the brand.

      Seeing how this went down, I wonder if this is why we never saw the iphone on Verizon. Verizon seems to want to control the brand, whereas on the AT&T/iPhone side, Apple holds the power.

  3. Deja Vu?

    This is an exact replay of the Palm Pre launch. TONS of hype leading up to the launch including really good reviews. Nothing remotely iPhone like in initial sales and then …….. disappointment.

    For Motorola and Verizon’s sake, let’s hope the Droid holds up better than the Pre (I could be wrong but people seem to be really down on the Pre and sales were not too good for Sprint or Palm).

    • I don’t think Verizon or Motorola realistically expected that kind of turnout. Some stores only had a few hundred units on-hand. Also it’s about 35 degrees in the Northern states. Apple releases mid-Summer. Online sales numbers will likely tell the success of this product. We’ll have to wait and see.