Motorola Has Few Options in Competition with iPhone

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-16 Print this article Print


5. It would become the other smartphone

Following that, it's entirely possible that the Droid X or the Droid 2 will become the other smartphone that consumers buy if they don't want to an iPhone. As nice as Apple's smartphone is, there are some people who have no desire to buy a product from Apple. Those folks will opt for the Droid X. Those who want the best smartphone on the market will choose Apple's iPhone. And unfortunately for Motorola, those who want the iPhone far outnumber those who don't. 

6. It has no influence elsewhere

By making the Droid 2 and the Droid X available exclusively to Verizon, Motorola has effectively left itself open to Apple's onslaught. Motorola chose Verizon. And by doing so, it decided against other carriers. At the time, it seemed like a smart idea. But now, the company has such little influence with other carriers, it will likely have no recourse but to hope its smartphones hold their own against the iPhone if Apple brings its smartphone to Verizon's network. Unfortunately for Motorola, the chances of that seem slim. 

7. The advertising would fail

Motorola's advertising efforts have been outstanding over the past couple years. But most of its ads have highlighted the fact that Apple misses out on a few key features. With the iPhone 4, it's tough to find many areas where the Droid X beats Apple's smartphone. The biggest issue standing in Apple's way is that it's available exclusively to AT&T. For most customers, that's the only problem with the device. If Apple's iPhone comes to Verizon, Motorola's advertising efforts would fall flat. The company could say that the Droid X has a nicer screen, but in the end, the one issue consumers really cared about would have been solved. 

8. Market share would slip

From a business perspective, Motorola's operation would get hit hard by a Verizon iPhone. Right now, the handset maker is enjoying increasing market share, as more and more consumers pick up the Droid 2 and the Droid X. But with more iPhones available to customers, expect Motorola's market share to slip. And when that happens, it will be extremely difficult for the company to rebuild. 

9. Google would focus efforts elsewhere

Google has been focusing most of its efforts with Motorola, due to the success of the Droid and the Droid X. But when Apple's iPhone makes its way to Verizon's shores, it won't be long before Google sees the writing on the wall and starts focusing more of its efforts elsewhere. Motorola has little chance of beating Apple's iPhone on Verizon's network. And Google, as a software provider, needs to focus on devices that have the best chance of competing. That could be an HTC device, or something else from another company. But it certainly won't be Motorola's smartphones. 

10. AT&T is the only other viable option

When one looks at the mobile market today, it quickly becomes clear that two companies-AT&T and Verizon-are performing well. Sprint-Nextel seems lost, and T-Mobile is the also-ran in the space. Realizing that, Motorola really has only one option-to bring its smartphones to AT&T. But by doing so, it's once again pitting its devices against Apple's iPhone. Simply put, Apple has all the bases covered. And that will only further hurt Motorola's bottom line.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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