Did Motorola's new Android phone 'Devour' Droid?
Verizon and Motorola spent big bucks promoting the Droid smart phone – only to abandon the brand three months later?
All of the above were pitches Motorola used to try to convince consumers to worship at the its temple of Droid, the slick Android-powered iPhone rival released on the Verizon network late last year. Then along came another Verizon Android phone from HTC, this time without a keyboard or flashy marketing campaign: the Droid Eris. Message clear: These are the Droids you're looking for.
But today's announcement from Motorola – of a second Android-powered phone to be released on Verizon in March – had us scratching our heads (and rubbing our bellies). The Motorola Devour? Who's hungry?
The handset looks pretty sweet and all – a large touchscreen, slide-out keyboard, the Android Market app store, GPS, a touch-sensitive nav pad, and the vaunted Motoblur user interface that brings social media updates right to the homescreen – but we've gotta ask: where's the Droid love? Keen readers will note that the Devour isn't the only Android phone we've heard of on Verizon not to get the Droid monicker – the other would be the Google Nexus One, which is coming to big-V this Spring. But the Nexus One has its own mojo going – no need for Droid.
Is Devour the redheaded stepchild of the Verizon clan?
Others have speculated that Verizon is reserving the Droid name for high-end, marquee devices, and that the Devour will be relegated to the lower-end of the market, with a price tag to match. No price has yet been announced, and request for comment from Motorola hasn't been returned, but to us, this move seems like GM spending months constructing a big Cadillac sign outside a dealership, and then trying to sell everyone who comes in an Oldsmobile.
The low-end rationale also doesn't stand up, it's worth noting, when one factors in the Devour's required $29.99 monthly unlimited data plan and accompanying $350 early termination fee, something purchasers of Verizon's "advanced devices" must agree to.
Motorola? Verizon? Is Droid done?