Verizon Wireless has posted an image and a few details of the Motorola Droid X, its successor to 2009’s popular Motorola Droid smartphone. Executives from Verizon, Motorola and Google will introduce “the next generation of Droid” in New York on June 23, according to an invitation sent to eWEEK, but it remains unclear whether the device in question will be the Droid X, another Droid or a whole new line of devices.
According to the flashily rendered Verizon Website, the Droid X will include a 4.3-inch display, “capture 720p” and “HDMI output.” From the image shown of the smartphone, it appears to closely match the look of the original Droid-and the picture gives no hint of any changes to the Droid’s sliding QWERTY keyboard.
On June 15, tech blog Engadget posted a breakdown of what it claimed was the Droid X, with an explanation of how the device ended up in its possession. “Apparently the Droid X has a 4.3-inch, FWVGA 854 x 480-resolution screen,” Engadget said. “We confirmed that the Droid X was running Android 2.1 with some new sort of Motoblur (perhaps Ninjablur) skin.”
The review also mentioned an 8-megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p video-presumably what Verizon was referring to on its Droid X site-and possibly a 1GHz ARMv7 processor. “If specs on the model we saw are correct, the phone will come with 8GB of storage space,” Engadget said.
All may well become clear June 23, when John Stratton, Verizon chief marketing officer and executive vice president, Google Android creator Andy Rubin and Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha host their event. Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen will also make an appearance, likely to promote the use of Flash on smartphones. Adobe has found itself in a heated battle with Apple, which has banned Flash from its mobile devices; since the software is used to power rich content on some of the Web’s most popular sites, Apple’s competitors have seized on their own support for Flash as a vital competitive differentiator.
The date for the launch of the next-generation Droid is likely no coincidence, considering that Apple’s iPhone 4 is scheduled for general release on June 24. Equipped with new software features such as multitasking and improved hardware such as a larger battery, the iPhone 4 Apple’s counter to the rising challenge from the ever-larger family of Android-based devices.
The Google-Verizon-Motorola consortium could also use the event to launch the Droid 2, a much-rumored device profiled by Engadget June 10. The Droid 2 reportedly features a 3.7-inch screen, 8GB of storage with an 8GB MicroSD card and a 5-megapixel camera.
In November 2009, the original Motorola Droid received one of the higher-profile launches of an iPhone competitor, accompanied by a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. That Droid ran Android 2.0 and featured a 3.7-inch touch screen, a sliding QWERTY keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera and syncing with Exchange 2003 and 2007. In the interim, however, the Droid has found itself competing not only against the iPhone, but also against similarly large-screened Android smartphones such as the HTC Evo 4G.