The Droid X is becoming tougher to get than was anticipated by its maker, Motorola, or its carrier, Verizon Wireless; availability isn’t expected until Aug. 4.
And don’t expect to walk into a Verizon store off the street and leave with one.
Gleacher and Co. analyst Mark McKechnie said calls to Verizon stores last week-the first full week since the Android 2.1-based smartphone became available July 15-revealed that the Droid X is still in scarce supply amid strong demand.
There are no units left in Verizon’s retail stores and all current production is going toward filling preorders customers placed with Verizon and Best Buy before the launch date.
McKechnie added that every outlet he called advised him to order the phone for home delivery as the fastest way to get the product, as Verizon struggles to meet demand in its vast retail channel.
“Our checks suggest virtually no Droid X phones [are] available in Verizon retail outlets through Sunday, July 25, with limited ‘restock’ shipments since the original channel fill,” McKechnie said in a research note July 26.
Verizon’s Website currently lists Aug. 4 as the Droid X shipment date. However, this date has been advanced frequently since the phone launched.
McKechnie said every store he called promised an Aug. 5 home delivery if the handset was ordered by Friday, July 23.
The latest in a series of multimedia-oriented smartphones, the Droid X features a 4.3-inch screen, 720p video capture and HDMI output.
The device sports a decent battery considering the large screen, so users can multitask for hours before seriously draining the power supply. The Droid X will get an upgrade to the Android 2.2 platform in August and will be joined by the Droid 2, which has a physical keyboard like its predecessor.
McKechnie, who found the Droid X was sold out in Verizon outlets in Boston, San Francisco and Austin through the first weekend of its sale, said this shows strong interest in the Droid X. He expects to hear a positive update on the Droid X in Motorola’s second-quarter earnings report July 29.
Specifically, he is looking for Motorola to update its 2010 Android smartphone shipment number from 12 million to 14 million units, with 2.5 million of these devices having shipped in the second quarter.
“We estimate each Android unit contributes [four times] the gross profit of a feature phone unit, and that 13 million Android units will contribute around 75 percent of the gross profits in Motorola’s handset division,” McKechnie said.
The bottom line is that Android has been very good for Motorola’s bottom line, after co-CEO Sanjay Jha staked the company on the open-source platform.