The Motorola Droid X may prove particularly successful, arriving as supplies of HTC Evo 4G and Droid Incredible smartphones are low and Apple tries to work through the customer relations disaster related to problems with the iPhone 4 antenna.
stars may be aligned for the Droid X to prove a big success for Motorola and
Android-running smartphone arrived on the Verizon network July 15, greeted by
lines of customers outside of Verizon retail locations, some of which opened at
midnight for the occasion. The phone
arrives as Google's open-source Android OS is riding high, enjoying strong
approval ratings from consumers, as evidenced by the sales that greeted the
Motorola Droid and HTC Evo 4G.
customers also warmly received the Droid Incredible, which the carrier is
having a hard time keeping in stock, mostly due to shortages in the supply
chain-a problem that Sprint is likewise facing with the Evo 4G. With these two
well-reviewed Android competitors temporarily out of the running, impatient
consumers may simply turn to the Droid X. And when they do, Verizon says it's
we are currently experiencing delays on orders of one of our more popular
phones, we view that as an anomaly driven by a combination of supply and
popularity," Brenda Raney, a spokesperson for Verizon, told Cnet.com. "At present, we feel that we have done
everything possible to ensure we have inventory to meet customer needs around
the Droid X."
likely to help the Droid X is Apple's newly, if temporarily, besmirched brand,
following antenna problems that customers have experienced with the new iPhone
4. The company has been criticized for being slow to address the antenna
problem-which has also led to two class-action lawsuits from iPhone 4 owners
and prevented Consumer Reports from labeling it a "recommended" device.
one analyst told eWEEK that "the Apple brand remains gold-plated," others
see Apple as stumbling at time when it needs to appeal to consumers beyond
its established fan base to support future sales growth. Analyst Ken Hyers,
with Technology Business Research, noted the strong critical and consumer
response to the more powerful Android handsets and told eWEEK that "consumers
not wedded to the Apple experience are giving them a look."
& Company analyst Mark McKechnie is also expecting Motorola to fare well,
both with the Droid X and its overall investment in Android.
have an upward bias to our 2.5 million and 3.4 million unit forecast for [the
second and third quarters of 2010, respectively]," he wrote in a July 15 note
to investors. This is driven, he continued, "by 1. increased Droid demand due
to Verizon Wireless marketing and HTC
Incredible shortages, 2. the Droid X launch to Verizon Wireless on July 15, and
3. a continued ramp into China."
added that the firm believes that Motorola's sales of Android units in 2010
will trend toward the upper end of it guidance, of 12 million to 14 million
course, the Motorola Droid X may also prove successful on its own. Priced at
$199 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate, it features a
4.3-inch display, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1GHz processor, and it is upgradable
to Android 2.2 and can be used as a mobile hot spot for up to five other
In an ad in The New York Times, Verizon pointed out still another feature-while
not missing an opportunity to pair it with a jab at the iPhone 4. "Most
importantly, it comes with a double antenna design," Verizon noted of the Droid
X. "The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like
... to make crystal clear calls."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.