updated 11:05 pm EDT, Thu May 27, 2010
Moto to chase iPhone with two Android flagships
Motorola could be Apple's most conspicuous rival this summer thanks to a pair of key deals with Verizon, leaks from inside the deal gave away this evening [sub. required]. The Droid maker will launch two Android smartphones in July and has persuaded Verizon to give both heavy promotion like the original had in November. Neither Motorola nor Verizon has directly confirmed the plans, but Motorola chief Sanjay Jha said just today that there ld be more Droid phones on the American carrier.
The known quantity is the Droid Shadow, which will not only be Motorola's first touch-only Droid model but its fastest, with HD video recording and playback. What would come second isn't as evident, but a direct successor to the Droid with a keyboard, or else a budget Android phone, are the most likely candidates.
How Motorola fares with one or both phones could have significant impact on the US cellular industry. The company is continuing to eke profits but is still struggling to transition over to a smartphone-heavy mix after years of losses helped along by lackluster conventional phones and a heavy dependence on Windows Mobile. As the creator of one of Verizon's most successful smartphones of all time, however, it could thrive on a second successful Verizon launch and is timed to arrive just weeks after the next iPhone, possibly drawing the spotlight away from Apple.
As part of the Droid rollout last year, Motorola went to extreme lengths to promote the Droid, including a Times Square promo, early store openings and ads mocking Apple. The more hostile TV ads are less likely this year if rumors of a CDMA iPhone in the fall are true, as Verizon may not be eager to downplay a future device.