Motorola Milestone (Droid) Headed to Canada

The Motorola Milestone - Verizon's slightly tweaked Droid - will be arriving on Canada's Telus network in early 2010, the carrier announced. The Milestone is Motorola's first Android smartphone for the Canadian market.

A version of the Motorola Droid, renamed Milestone for non-U.S. markets, will be arriving in Canada on the Telus network in early 2010, the carrier announced Nov. 10.

"Telus' new 3G+ network gives Canadians access to a world-class selection of mobile devices such as the Motorola Milestone," said David Neale, senior vice president of product and services at Telus, in a statement.

Milestone runs the Android 2.0 operating system and features a slide-out QWERTY keypad and a 3.7-inch widescreen display with a ratio of 16:9 and more than 400,000 pixels, for what reviewers have called a "gorgeous" screen resolution.

There's Microsoft Exchange server support, for hosting corporate and as well as personal e-mail accounts, and in addition to 3G access, users can text, IM or enjoy the full HTML browser via a Wi-Fi connection.

The Motorola Milestone comes with 16GB of memory that's expandable to 32GB, as well as a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and video, contact integration for syncing information from sources such as Gmail and Facebook, and access to Google services, including the 12,000-apps-and-growing Android Market.

The Droid arrived in the United States on the Verizon Wireless network on Nov. 6, and while the launch was no iPhone launch, it is nonetheless selling well.

"Demand seems brisk," Mark McKechnie, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech, wrote in a Nov. 9 research note. "While we heard of no stores that were completely sold out, the majority reported that more than half of the initial stock was sold, and some said they had just a few remaining."

McKechnie additionally told investors, "We estimate about 200k total -sell-in' to the Verizon channels for day one," while analyst Mark Sue told the Wall Street Journal that "RBC Capital Markets forecasts Verizon Wireless could sell as many as 1 million units of the phone in the fourth quarter."

The success of the Droid, and potentially the Milestone, offers a much-needed boost to Motorola, which was once the second largest global handset market share holder, but has since fallen to fifth position.

"With Motorola Milestone, Canadians will no longer be limited in what they can do with their smartphones," said Rick Gadd, vice president of Motorola Canada Mobile Devices, in a statement on the Milestone's impending arrival on Telus. "They will experience the Web the way they've always wanted on a mobile device, with lightning fast speeds and pages that show them more."

Pricing and specific arrival dates have yet to be released.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This text has been corrected to reflect that the Milestone is not Canada's first Android phone, but Motorola's first Android phone for Canada.