Motorola Droid X vs. iPhone 4: 10 Ways to Keep the Heat on Apple

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-07-07

Motorola Droid X vs. iPhone 4: 10 Ways to Keep the Heat on Apple

With Apple acknowledging recently that the software fix that addresses how iOS displays signal strength won't actually help iPhone 4 owners improve their signal, the time has come for competitors such as Motorola to capitalize.

Currently, the company is engaging in an advertising initiative aimed at highlighting the issues consumers are having with the iPhone 4. It is trying to make the distinction that its new Droid X, which is scheduled to be released in a little over a week, is the ideal replacement for Apple's smartphone.

But Motorola can't simply stop there. The company must remember that in order to fully capitalize on Apple's iPhone 4 woes, it needs make a clear case to customers why they need the Droid X over any other smartphone, including the iPhone, currently available.

Admittedly, it won't be easy. Apple is doing a fine job of overcoming the critics and selling millions of iPhones. But with the right strategy, Motorola could attract some buyers that, upon hearing about the iPhone's troubles, want nothing to do with Apple's smartphone.

Read on to find some additional tactics Motorola should follow to capitalize on the iPhone 4's antenna issue.

1. Keep the ad campaign going

Motorola has been somewhat successful in its ads highlighting Apple's problems with the iPhone 4 antenna. But if it wants to really take advantage of troubles, the company must do much more. It needs to double its advertising budget and start bringing its effective marketing to more places. Not only should it double its television advertising, but it should also increase Web, billboard, and print-media advertising. The time to capitalize on Apple is now. Motorola simply can't let it slip away.

2. Make it clear the Droid X has the better antenna

In everything Motorola does to combat the iPhone 4, the company must drill the point home that the Droid X will have a better antenna and connection with its network. It shouldn't be that difficult. The iPhone 4 is having trouble connecting to AT&T's network, which is widely regarded as one of the worst in the business. Verizon, on the other hand, which will be home to the Motorola Droid X, is widely regarded for its superior network. And as long as the Droid X delivers a better antenna, the company can make that an issue in its ads, as well. The Droid X has an opportunity to trump the iPhone 4. Motorola can't let that slip away.

3. Offer a discount to iPhone 4 owners

It might sound like a radical idea, but maybe Motorola should offer a discount to iPhone 4 owners. It might not be as crazy as it sounds. After all, Verizon is trying desperately to coax subscribers from AT&T. And Motorola needs as many consumers as possible to make the Droid X look like a contender in the marketplace. It might be little more than a ploy to get attention, but it could work. By offering iPhone 4 customers a discount, it helps ease the pain of paying all that cash to get out of an AT&T contract. And considering users can sell their iPhone 4 devices for a hefty profit nowadays, maybe they could make out on the deal. If nothing else, an iPhone 4 discount is worth offering for the attention potential.

4. Stay true to Verizon Wireless

Motorola must make it clear that it is firmly on the side of Verizon Wireless. As AT&T starts getting more and more Android-based devices, some consumers might wonder if the Droid X will be coming to that carrier, as well. Motorola must make it clear that it won't be doing so for one big reason: signal strength in certain areas around the U.S. just can't match Verizon's. It might be a shot over both Apple's and AT&T's bow, but it effectively accomplishes two goals: it cozies Motorola up to Verizon, and it makes consumers realize that if they want a device that isn't rife with antenna problems, they will need to go to Verizon.

Motorola Keep Fighting on All Competitive Fronts

5. Talk about other benefits

As appealing as it might be to simply talk about the iPhone 4's antenna issues, Motorola's efforts to downplay the significance of the iPhone 4 must go beyond that. The company needs to find other places where its smartphone is better than Apple's. If that means highlighting the device's big display, then so be it. If Motorola believes Android is a better mobile operating system, then it should make it clear in all its advertising efforts. The iPhone's antenna issue is a problem, but it's not big enough for everyone to run to the Droid X. Motorola can't forget that.

6. Draw attention to other iPhone 4 flaws

Following that, it's also important for Motorola to highlight other flaws with the iPhone 4. Sure, the antenna is a biggie, and talking about some of the Droid X's features that are better than the iPhone's is a good start, but Motorola must also talk about flaws it finds with the iPhone's hardware and software design. A major issue is the lack of Flash, which, after Android 2.2 is made available to Droid X users, the Motorola smartphone will support.

7. Lead the charge

Motorola isn't competing in a vacuum. The company has several other competitors that are also doing their best to highlight the iPhone 4's antenna problems. Regardless, Motorola must lead the way in effectively advertising why its product is better than Apple's. In today's mobile market, the competition is fierce. And the winner, regardless of the quality of its product, will find a way to do the best job at making consumers aware of the iPhone's flaws and highlight all of its product's benefits. That must be Motorola. If it isn't, the Droid X won't have a shot.

8. Announce the Droid 2

There is speculation that Motorola isn't quite done announcing new phones. When the company announced the Droid X, it was quick to point out that its Motorola Droid would still be available to those customers who didn't want the latest and greatest smartphone, but did want a physical keyboard to go along with Android. As soon as that happened, speculation erupted over whether Motorola would soon offer the Droid 2, which will be the first major follow-up to the original Droid. The Droid 2, rumors suggest, will feature a physical keyboard, like its predecessor. Motorola should announce the Droid 2 now. The time has come to capitalize on the iPhone. And showing off yet another phone that does something better than Apple's smartphone is a good first step.

9. Use Google as a guide

In order to be successful with its anti-Apple ploy, Motorola must make it clear that Google is backing its efforts. Try as it might to enter the pantheon of tech greats, Motorola just isn't on the same level as companies such as Google and Apple. In most cases, consumers won't trust a product from Motorola over Apple. But if Google is backing the product and Motorola can use Google's name and influence in its commercials panning the iPhone 4, the company might have a much easier time appealing to customers.

10. Put down other competitors

As appealing as it might be to target Apple, Motorola can't forget that there are other competitors in the marketplace that are vying for its market share. Realizing that, the company needs to create a value proposition for customers that trumps both Apple's and the rest of the competition. It can't do that if it doesn't spend time talking about the issues it sees with other products on the market. Motorola is not competing with just Apple. The company is against every other vendor. And it needs to capitalize on the issues with other products just as much as those in Apple's device.

Rocket Fuel