Destroy the iPhone? I'm Sorry, Motorola, I'm Afraid I Can't Do That.
Verizon (VZ) uncrated its latest iPhone challenger Wednesday morning, introducing the new $199 Motorola Droid, and it already has analysts buzzing about the life it may breathe back into Motorola (MOT), whose share of the phone market dropped by nearly half in the second quarter from 10 percent a year earlier.
Consensus seems to be that the Droid is the device that will get Motorola back into the game. Indeed, Technology Business Research’s Ken Hyers says the Droid is likely a “serious challenger to the iPhone.”
Over at RBC Capital Markets, Mark Sue says good things as well. “The Droids are coming and Motorola will be an important part of Verizon’s push for smartphone differentiation,” he wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “In addition to compelling products, Motorola seems to have gotten back into the good graces of the North American carrier federation, which should aggressively push the new devices.”
Of course, these endorsements don’t necessarily mean that Motorola is poised to return to its past glory. And they certainly don’t guarantee the Christmas turnaround the company is clearly hoping for. After all, the smart-phone market is far more competitive now than it was when Motorola last dominated it back in 2004.
Said Morningstar analyst Joseph Beaulieu: “[I’m not sure the Droid] will be good enough to cut through the noise that you’re getting from Apple iPhone, HTC’s Hero, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and even Palm’s Pre and upcoming Pixi.”