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Droid X: One Phone to Meet Different Needs for Verizon, Motorola

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Verizon Wireless (s vz) has introduced the Droid X, a successor to the popular Droid launched last October, the first handset to run Google’s Android 2.0 operating system. Built by Motorola (s mot), the updated Droid X joins the HTC Incredible, LG Ally and Motorola’s own Devour in Verizon’s Android lineup. While many of its features make the device look like a “me too” when compared to the Incredible — both offer large touchscreens, fast processors and HD high quality video recording — Verizon and Motorola both need a new Droid model, albeit for different reasons.

Still without an iPhone to offer, Verizon is relying on Google Android (s goog) handsets to keep customers from fleeing to rival AT&T (s t). If sales numbers for the original Droid are any indication — an estimated 1 million in the first 74 days — Verizon’s Droid helped limit defectors seeking an iPhone. Indeed, in April, Verizon reported an improved postpaid churn of 1.07 percent. But the original Droid, now eight months old, is long in the tooth. And Verizon is facing supply issues with its other high-end Android device, the Incredible — the handset is currently unavailable until July 21, reportedly due to a shortage of display panels.

Meanwhile, Motorola hasn’t had a follow-up device whose sales compare to that of the Droid. Instead of high-end devices, Motorola followed the Droid with low- to mid-end handsets running older versions of Android. At a time where the market is getting flooded with one powerful device after another, Motorola’s Droid X has the potential to get the company back in the smartphone spotlight. Even with the Droid, Motorola sold fewer handsets in the first quarter of 2010 than in a year prior — allowing for Research In Motion (s rimm), Apple and ZTE to jump past Motorola in quarterly device sales.

With no other iPhone competitor in stock, Verizon would be well-advised to run a Droid X campaign that highlights the improved hardware keyboard. Sinking $100 million into marketing certainly helped the original Droid, and would benefit both carrier and handset maker right now — such a media effort could help offset buzz for AT&T and Apple (s aapl) as new iPhone 4 handsets are arriving.

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14 Responses to “Droid X: One Phone to Meet Different Needs for Verizon, Motorola”

  1. Frenchry

    ….Motorola’s Droid X has the potential to get the company back in the smartphone spotlight…..

    Maybe so, but what I think is that Motorola should sell this phone to all CDMA carriers in the USA.
    ……Only Verizon customers will get to enjoy the Droid X as it is an exclusive device. Motorola might have a device that looks similar outside of the U.S. in the future…….

    • “what I think is that Motorola should sell this phone to all CDMA carriers in the USA.”

      It’s quite common for these exclusive carrier – handset launches. Not saying that it’s necessarily a good practice, but it’s generally how the situation goes — why would Verizon have spent upwards of $100m to pump the Droid if Sprint was going to get it too, for example?

  2. these android phones are coming so fast i am starting to wonder if when people are going to get so concerned that a much better phone will be out before they get the one there buying set up properly that they just get discouraged all together.

    people are less likely to buy something if it be obsolete tomorrow.

    • That’s true, but tempered by the fact that carriers aren’t bringing multiple hot Android phones to their lineup at the same time. That should help a little from too much “buyer’s remorse” but you’re spot-on with how fast and how many Android handsets are rolling out.

    • Ack – too many HTC phones these days, each with incremental differences. You’re correct, the Incredible records high quality video at 800 x 480, not high definition video. I’ll correct and thanks!