July 30, 2014

Motorola Aiming For Low-End with Android

motorola_morrison_largeThe smart phone market is getting more crowded all the time as handset makers are expanding the product lines.  Every carrier now has at least one smart phone hovering around the $200 price point.  How does one hope to grab market share in an increasingly more competitive field?  How can a company like Motorola hope to get back in the game and compete against the likes of iPhone, Palm Pre and other high end phones?  They won’t.

And they’re not trying to.  And it’s okay with me.

Imagine the appeal of a $99 phone that does everything a G1 is capable of.  Users would be able to install all the same great apps that are available today and not break the bank up front.  Other countries are already offering Android phones free on contract.  Motorola would be wise to push the needle in that direction here in the states.

I could see Motorola dropping a phone like the Morrison just in time for Christmas.  Hit people right in the face with a $100 Android phone and watch that money roll in.  There is very little going on at that price point and if customers have their pick, they’ll go with the more advanced phones. If a carrier offers a mail-in rebate and gets the phone down around $50 for a few weeks, it could be difficult to keep in stock.

One could argue that Motorola needs to get in as soon as possible if they hope to turn heads again.  I’ve thought that in the past.  As time passes I think they are wiser for waiting a bit.  By the time Motorola’s Android devices arrive, there could be a half dozen other smart phones running Google’s OS.  Let people learn what Android can do and allow some of the better apps to roll out.

When the holidays roll around, customers will have much more of an overall awareness of Android.  That’s when you put out a phone that does all that, but at about half the cost.  We’ve heard for a long that time they are working on a device based around social networking.  Maybe they have some fancy widgets and apps preloaded, maybe they have a great UI in the works similar to HTC Sense.

I have the feeling that Motorola will get behind their handsets a little bit more than we’ve seen for the G1.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see them advertise their Android phones once they come out.  If the hardware looks right,  a great campaign could help them claw their way back.

And that’s okay with me.