I feel like I’ve been focusing a lot of my articles lately around carrier exclusivity, particularly how it’s become a thing of the past. I’ve talked about how I’d hoped Sony would branch out (which looks like it could happen sooner rather than later), how the new HTC Desire Eye shouldn’t be an AT&T only phone, and basically just stating the obvious: carrier exclusives just don’t work in a phone’s favor anymore. Not when you have phones that are universally available across all major carriers now.
The Motorola DROID line, which was once one of the most popular Androids on the market, has slowly but surely lost its luster. The new Motorola DROID Turbo was recently teased in a Tweet from Verizon, and while the phone will likely end up being a decent competitor among other Androids, I don’t personally feel excited about it. I can’t be. I’m not a Verizon Wireless customer. I’m sure there are probably 250 some odd million other people who probably feel similarly. The Motorola DROID Turbo might be a nice phone, but there’s comparable, more accessible models elsewhere.
DROID has been around long enough to be a known moniker; I’m sure some of you still know a couple of people who refer to “Android” phones simply as “DROID” because it was one of the first Android phones to be released. It did have its initial impact, but has since slowed down exponentially. The secret to getting the DROID line back up and running again? Simple: It’s time to branch out from Verizon and spread the DROID joy to other carriers.
You have to wonder whether other smartphones would be doing as well as they are if they hadn’t branched out. The iPhone was an AT&T exclusive for nearly 4 years, but branched out to Verizon and Sprint in 2011, along with T-Mobile in 2013. The Samsung Galaxy S line wasn’t always as unified as it was today. Instead of having one device across the board, the Galaxy S line started out with having different, unique devices for each carrier - sometimes only being slight variants. Once the Samsung Galaxy S III came along, though, it was clear that by unifying the device across the board that more people started to take more notice.
While there’s no way to go back in time and see if anything would have been different had carrier exclusives stayed in effect, one thing is clear: nobody is suffering because they decided to make their device universally available. The only ones you see suffering are the ones who stick to carrier exclusives. Look at the HTC First, or “The Facebook Phone”; alternatively, you could look at Amazon’s Fire Phone.
To make a long story even longer, and if I haven’t made my message clear yet: Carrier exclusives don’t do anybody any good anymore. They just don’t.
The Motorola DROID line is still going, but it could be going stronger. Motorola has been making some good, big changes to the way they make phones, and I think that extending the DROID line out could be a good move for them. If nothing else, it probably couldn’t hurt to let it out of the cage and breathe a little bit - as in, maybe send it to at least one other provider.
Readers, do you think that DROID should forever remain a Verizon Wireless exclusive, or do you think that it’s time to make DROID a little more universal? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via Droid Life, Verizon Wireless