Should Motorola do more for DROID Bionic owners?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| September 22, 2012

Long before Motorola refreshed the RAZR name, another device was being talked about. Around the time that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) arrived in January of 2011, the DROID BIONIC was a sought-after device. As much as another DROID device could be back then, anyway. While it was unveiled in January, Motorola "confirmed" that the device would be released to Verizon subscribers sometime in the second quarter of 2011.

So, not too far off the unveiling date. Good on you, Motorola!

Except that didn't happen. Looking back at it now, it's almost laughable how bad the launch of the DROID Bionic was handled. It was announced in January, but it didn't see a release until September of the same year. September! That's not the second quarter, by the way, for those of you keeping track. Basically, the DROID Bionic is one of those devices that just shouldn't have been released, thanks to that lengthy delay.

It didn't help that other devices launched at the same time, which completely put the device to shame when it finally landed on store shelves. Even other DROID devices. It was bad.

Unfortunately for those DROID Bionic owners out there (there are some out there, and they were angry enough to spell out their frustration to a Motorola executive on their Google+ page), it hasn't gotten any better. In fact, if you want to judge a device's success based on the manufacturer's promises and estimations, then the DROID Bionic has been a failure for the entire extent of its existence. Which puts the customer, the owner, in a pickle.

It's not like they can just get another phone.

Or could they?

I know this is remarkably wishful thinking, but I think Motorola needs to do DROID Bionic customers a solid. They deserve it. Really, they do. Not only did they just get run over by the release of this device, but the support for it, and the promises made for its future update, have just been monumentally mishandled.

My curiosity piqued when I saw that the aforementioned Motorola executive, Punit Soni (the VP of Product at Motorola), said that DROID Bionic owners had been given a "raw deal," and that there was a "plan" in motion for the device. I was actually very, very curious to see what they had in mind. In my head, where apparently there is only wishful thinking when it comes to the mobile industry, I pictured Motorola offering up a bit more of a monetary discount towards one of their new devices.

Right now, Motorola is offering up a $100 credit towards the purchase of another Motorola device, like the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, if your device isn't getting Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. I can imagine that, for the briefest of moments, DROID Bionic owners thought that they may be able to get a bit of a discount on a new, better device, all because of Motorola's lack of keeping up with updates for their devices.

That isn't happening now, though. Motorola has basically just made sure that those folks keep their DROID Bionic, despite everything that has happened in the past. I think, instead, Motorola should be offering up $150-$200 towards a DROID RAZR HD or DROID RAZR MAXX HD, respectively.

No, it isn't a fee phone, but that's obviously not going to happen. It's a step in the right direction.

Instead, it looks like "the plan" is to just push the promised Ice Cream Sandwich update to "Q4," and call it good. No exact dates. In fact, nothing of value has changed. Just, instead of "Q3" it now says "Q4." Great.

This is just another instance where Motorola never should have said anything about an update at all. Like I said above, the DROID Bionic never should have saw a release. But, after it did, Motorola never should have said anything about Ice Cream Sandwich. Just leave it alone. Because this is what happens. You have to admit to customers that they were given a "raw deal," and then do nothing to really change it.

I'm curious what you think, Dear Reader, what Motorola should do for the DROID Bionic customers out there. Is just promising them another quarter for outdated software updates good enough? Or can they do better? Let me know!

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