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?

The Motorola Devour boasts the Android operating system and Motoblur user interface, but no Droid name. What gives?

Stealth bombers. iDon't. A bare-knuckled bucket of does.

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?


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