Motorola's DROID takeover is hopefully a good thingEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Partnerships come and go, probably more so in the mobile market than anywhere else. You'll see a company, or carrier, be a "number one partner," at one moment, and then at some point down the line you'll see that once exclusive deal become just another name in a laundry list of other partners. It's the way things go in this industry, and something we've grown to accept over the years.
For the consumer, it's all about the brand, maybe even more so than the device itself sometimes. You've heard over the years, probably since the iPhone 3G launched, that Apple's smartphone isn't that great, and that it's just a vehicle to show off a brand name. That may be for some people, but it's not like Apple's the only company to do this. If you like a company, or a brand, then you want to show it off. I know plenty of folks, for instance, who just buy Samsung-branded devices because they like Samsung.
Apple doesn't have an exclusivity on brand name recognition. Not yet, anyway.
But, beyond the brand, partnerships can get us excited for a particular device. For example, HTC and Google. Ever since the companies showcased the original Nexus One way back when, there have been people clamoring for another Nexus-branded device from HTC. I'm included in that gaggle, too. I genuinely want to see another Nexus One-type device -- and not just a device like the One with stock Android on it.
With partnerships, we can't help but hope that one company gets chosen over another. Some might want another HTC Nexus, while others want Samsung to get the gig again. Others may even want LG to have another crack at it. But partnerships aren't a sure thing, and for the consumer we just have to wait with fingers crossed that our favorite companies get chosen for the gig.
If you're under Verizon's umbrella, then you know about the DROID lineup. We've seen plenty of different devices hit the family of handsets over the years, and some of them have been downright amazing. In fact, two of my favorite devices ever were both DROID-branded phones: the original Motorola DROID, and HTC's DROID Incredible. Which is why I quickly became a fan of HTC and Motorola dominating the DROID brand over the years.
Of course, one of those companies practically made it its own, just by sheer volume. It hasn't been a secret that Motorola and Verizon have had a close partnership over the years, especially when it comes to DROID handsets, and it's been pretty obvious just from the available devices. Motorola's practically owned the brand entirely since its debut.
And now it's all sorts of official. According to Verizon's Vice President of Marketing Jeff Dietel, the DROID brand will be filled with only Motorola made devices from here on out. So no more HTC and no more Samsung. It's all Motorola. Basically, Motorola just earned an exclusivity on one of the biggest brands in the mobile industry. That's "starting" with the brand new DROID MINI, DROID ULTRA and DROID MAXX.
So, you know, good for them.
And it is good news for Motorola. Despite their position as a Google company now, it's good to see that they can still develop those exclusive devices. It wouldn't have been all that surprising to hear that Motorola's moves from here on out would be non-exclusive deals, just to get their new handsets to as many customers as possible. Like with the Moto X's future home on multiple carriers, for example.
However, while it's great news for Motorola, I can't help but be a little happy for HTC, too. Sure, the DROID Incredible was one of my favorite devices, but I can't help but think that in more recent months, certain HTC devices haven't made it to Verizon's lineup as quickly as they could because Big Red and HTC couldn't agree on some things. Like maybe DROID branding. After all, HTC's brand, for the One Series particularly, would see a lot of competition if you stuck another brand name on there.
Now, though, with Motorola taking the reins on the DROID brand, HTC and Verizon can hopefully work a bit faster on getting the manufacturer's high-end, flagship devices on the carrier. Which means, maybe next year, customers won't have to wait months after a phone's launch to get their hands on it. Maybe.
This is pure "guesstimation," mind you. I just think that this move from Verizon and Motorola is actually good news all around, and not just those two companies specifically. Besides, as I mentioned earlier, Motorola's dominance of the brand since its debut pretty much made this event inevitable, and fully expected.
But what do you think of Verizon's decision to give the DROID brand over to Motorola entirely? Is it a good idea? Did you see it coming from a mile away? Will this make you more of a fan of the DROID name, or will you skip it entirely now? Let me know what you think!