Three Reasons the Cliq Will Click with Consumers

cliq_02The press ink is not even dry after the Motorola Cliq was announced this past week and there is already talk of the Cliq’s failure.  Here are my top three reasons I believe this device will be a hit for T-Mobile and beyond:

1. This phone has instant street cred with the millennial crowd as it has Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace interfaces built in for contact management and messaging. And those are just some of the services available on Android.  These are the consumers that want to blend their online lives with a device that will not make them have to choose between a PC or a mobile.  In this configuration, messages are messages and from what I saw at the announcement these messages can all be viewed from the same “Happenings” widget.

[quote]With the G1, the keyboard is the killer app for a messaging device and as much as touch screen devices are lauded for their thinness and svelte form factors nothing quite beats a physical keyboard for a serial social-ist.  So given T-Mobile‘s success with the G1, a less than stellar looking and much less polished phone, the Cliq looks well on its way to being a hit.  Even the ill-named myTouch 3G, is oft maligned for its lack of a real keyboard while cheered for its compactness so Cliq could be the perfect convergence of these two devices.

2. Rumored price point is zero dollars on contract. What better price than free for can you ask for the price of Android admission for an under twenty-something or teen?  But even if it is $150 or lower it will still be the cheapest Android phone to date.  This could be the new non-barrier of entry for mass adoption of Android to take hold.  Sort of what T-Mobile had done with the maturation of Sidekicks over the past few years.

Make this a first device that has modest smart-phone abilities then move the consumer upstream to more sophisticated hardware with a sophisticated price.  The only drawback here though could be the reluctance to get the data plan, especially not that T-Mobile has decided to change the T’s and C’s for smart phones and require them to have data devices.  But what is the point of a socially aware networking phone to only be available over WiFi?  Point taken T-Mobile.

3. Take the world wide web (not the WAP version) everywhere you are. For a lot of users this will be a welcomed change to upgrade to the WebKit browser and up from a WAP one that compresses and translates websites into more palatable version for particular phones with small screens.

The MOTOBLUR UI has enhanced Android for social networking use not only with the introduction of new widgets but by combining messaging, contacts, and updates in one API for  disparate applications.  Sort of Moto’s answer to Palm’s webOS.  And it will give the user instant connectivity to specific online applications that will keep them in touch with others.  This is just another real world example of the cloud sync’ing with various client interfaces to give a seamless view of the Web and, oh by the way, will be totally customizable by the user.

This device looks to be a very good first effort from Motorola and I am looking forward not just to the Cliq, but other soon-to-be-announced handsets that will launch on T-Mobile, Verizon, and all the other WSP’s out there.

  • I'm not so sure that Motorola will sell a lot of Cliq, the Android Market is ina growth but there are a lot of other phones on the road and I think that no many customers sell HTC G1 to buy this or buy other one QWERTY phone..

    • The Cliq's external design is a lot more attractive than the original G1, but I'm not sure that MotoBlur is really all its cracked up to be. It adds social networking, but I think it's a bit sloppy and now as well thought out as HTC's Sense UI.

  • I think Cliq will sell really well! It's faster than G1's under-clocked CPU.
    It deep integrates all the SNS and contacts.

    I think CLIQ will kill sidekick series!

    I own a G1 and Pre, and I can't wait to get the CLIQ!

  • BackInAction

    Dead on! This appears to be the prefect "entry level" android with QWERTY. And, if it is "free" this will sell like crazy. Even for those that don't want all of the "social stuff" (like me). Just root it and it becomes a G1v2 (sans track ball).

    I do find it odd that now, 1.5 years after the G1, almost all of the current and some of the soon-to-be released Android phones have the same basic hardware (CPU, RAM/ROM). It will be interesting to see how much "better" the next-gen phones (Sholes?? Samsong? Snap Dragon CPU, etc.) will be than the current flavor. Will they make the current phone nearly useless? Or just appear a bit slower?

    • Andrex

      The G1 was launched on October 22, and was revealed officially on September 14 if I remember.

      The upside to using the same basic hardware is app devs (especially game devs) don't have to worry about too much fragmentation at this point. It also means the costs will be reduced with each successive handset, which should be passed on to consumers.

    • tarusdg

      @BackInAction the G1 was released about 10 or 11 months ago, not 1.5 years.

      • BackInAction

        Sorry, I thought it was announced in Spring '08.

        I understand why the devices are all using the the same/similar hardware, but find it odd there hasn't been a push for more. Though, I guess if device/service demand isn't high enough, why bother?!?!

  • Andrex

    MOTODEV on Twitter tweeted this article, is that a confirmation of point 2? 🙂

  • Miguel

    My concern is that the processor is the same as the G1, and my G1 slows down with several live widgets on the screen. Running Pandora or Google Voice makes it slow as a snail and is frustrating. Did Motorola overclock this processor to look so zippy?

    • Dianne

      Most often slow downs are due to lack of RAM rather than slow CPU; I believe the Cliq has significantly more RAM than the G1, which should help it a lot. (It is also partly due to misbehaved apps that the system should be better at dealing with, and there will be a number of things done to address this in both Donut and Eclair.)

    • Dianne

      Oh and fwiw, CPU clock speed often has little to do with the actually performance of the hardware. For example, the G1's CPU is largely limited by its memory bus, so the CPU isn't run at the rated maximum speed because this has little performance impact (it ends up spending most of its time waiting for data) while decreasing battery life. Throw a better memory subsystem on to the same G1 CPU, and you can have dramatically better performance (though without more physical RAM, you can still have the bigger problem of slow downs due to paging because there isn't enough RAM).

      • Bandi

        I agree with Dianne. People tend to forget that usually it's not the CPU that's slowing down the system. It's actually the memory. U'd be surprised to know how little work the cpu actually does (i'm speaking about time percentage…most of time it's idle). Considering the major memory upgrade that the Cliq has been given..i'd say it will leave the g1 in the dust (unfortunately for me:)) )

        Adding to the things said above. I don't see how people won't buy the cliq just because they have a g1. Let's face it….if people were usually thinking like this..where would be with PCs? 5 to 6 years ago every half a year a new type of PC would come out and they would all sell like warm bread. I'm guessin that the click will do just fine, and i think that's what Motorola actually wants to achieve. This is just their first step. I say the big boys are just about to come out of the dark.

      • Lak

        So true, I am running a G1 unlocked and using cyanogens roms, he has just introduced BFS in his roms and the speed increase is amazing, so on a phone with more RAM and using either custom roms or future updates from google the phone will fly. Also the Hardware keyboard is a massive plus, its all nice having a sleek thin new phone but some people just want the practicality of a proper keyboard..

  • TareX

    Free sells, no doubt.

    It will click with the majority of people, from which we are not.

  • *d.*

    lol…"serial social-ist." that's me.