Coming Soon from Motorola: The DESPRT With Android
Is Google’s (GOOG) Android OS a panacea for the decrepitude and irrelevance that are now the hallmark of Motorola’s handset division? The company is betting that it is. “People familiar with the matter” tell The Wall Street Journal that Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile USA plan to offer Motorola handsets running the OS by the end of the year.
Both devices are said to feature a touchscreen and slide-out keyboard and a “social communications” focus. Which sounds somewhat compelling, though it would probably be more so if the market weren’t already enamored with Palm’s (PALM) Pre, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 3GS and its $99 brethren, the iPhone 3G. That said, I suppose there’s always a chance that Motorola (MOT), using Android, could turn out a handset that apes those devices and returns the company to the glory days of the RAZR or at least points it in the right direction.
Certainly, Motorola desperately needs something like that. A weak product portfolio has already reduced its share of the handset market to 6.5 percent, about half what it held a year ago. And with the econalypse in full swing and consumer spending declining, Motorola’s prospects in the mobile handset don’t appear very promising.