With the release of the first device to support Google's mobile operating only less than a day away, a second Android device is already in development by Motorola. This device -- which is expected to be cheaper than the HTC G1 -- would put more emphasis on openness on mobile networks and provide Motorola with a "social phone" that the company desperately wants.
What's the catch? Customers will likely have to wait until the second quarter of 2009 to get their hands on this baby.
If this is what Motorola plans on doing, the company needs to make it happen quickly, as the potential for profits will shrink as other phone manufacturers are expected to enter the market with Android-based mobile phones.
Android Makes Motorola a Believer
Any questions of whether or not Android will be a success have been answered with the confirmation of a second phone manufacturer putting together a dedicated team to focus efforts on hardware developed for the Android mobile platform. This team will be composed of up to 350 new staffers to help the struggling manufacturer.
It is expected that Motorola with put up US$ 50 million to expand the company's coverage to the Android platform -- it might be the smartest move the company has made since the creation of the Motorola RAZR, another highly popular phone that is beginning to show its age. Motorola told BusinessWeek that it is "excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and looks forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google."
Over the past two months Motorola has been sharing their ideas with telecommunication companies around the world, but the U.S. might not be the first to get the new Android device. Regardless, the device is still expected to hit the States in the second quarter of 2009.
The phone itself is said to feature an "iPhone-like touch screen," many built-in social networking features, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and, of course, the Android OS. It will be interesting to see how Motorola approaches the design when considering how HTC has much more experience in developing these types of phones. The company has plenty to live up to, so hopefully those 350 or so employees can help make a device that the company and its customers can be proud of.
A Play on Mobile Social Networking
As we have previously discussed on CMSWire, mobile social networking is experiencing rapid growth. The industry will have billions in revenue coming its way as mobile devices are given more freedom and functionality. Mobile devices now serve more prominent purposes than simply making phone calls, and we are at the point where this is becoming truer than ever before.
These once simple devices that did nothing more than actually make phone calls are now personal computers that fit in a pocket, and it is too late for the telecommunication companies to try and cripple these phones as has been done for many years. People now understand the potential, and they are willing to pay the price to have these devices. Is it really even appropriate to call them cell phones anymore?
HTC, Motorola and possibly LG are going to be making more mobile devices that utilize Android, and that is pretty impressive considering the amount of speculation still going on about the platform. If LG is the third phone manufacturer to announce that they are making an Android device -- which is possible considering that Verizon and LG were at a private Android conference -- it will probably ensure that Android is offered by most carriers in the U.S. and in the world.
If that previous scenario becomes a reality, it will be amazing to know that Google will have direct access to millions of people around the globe, and they will find ways to monetize this technology. Not to even mention the privacy advocates that will surely be crying foul.
The early reviews (video) for Android are very optimistic, and we will see how this all plays out over the next few days. If T-Mobile and HTC really have come out with a winner, expect to see other phone manufacturers announcing plans to develop Android devices for release in 2009 as well.