Droid and Cliq to Become New Chance for Motorola

With its Android-based handsets, Motorola may be getting back its hand set groove back. Even though the company recently posted surprise third-quarter profits, Motorola has struggled to come up with a popular device since its 2004 smash hit, the Razr. Instead, the company produced an endless cycle of Razr and Rockr remixes that never really captured a lot of excitement or critical praise. But now, armed with Cliq, Droid and the MotoBlur interface, it just might be a new day for Motorola.

But then Motorola caught the Android bug and lost interest in the Linux Mobile foundation it helped to create, and the rest may or may not be history.

Motorola's new efforts may be gaining critical praise, but questions remain. Cliq's MotoBlur interface -- a constantly changing screen that pulls your messaging and social networking activity onto your phone -- may become a phenomenon or an annoying distraction for users.

There's also the question of whether Droid's hype will translate into customers lining up for the new phone on November 6. Motorola is spending a lot of advertising dollars trying to argue Droid is a better option than the iPhone. Droid is also the first device sporting the Android 2.0 operating system, which may help to increase interest in the device, PC World reports.

It was also reported, the Droid and the Cliq, which is being sold on T-Mobile USA's network, are the first two Motorola Android phones to hit the market. But Jha said that the Google Android operating system will not only be used in high-end devices like the Droid, but it will also be used to power less expensive phones, creating a new tier of smartphone that will eventually replace the basic feature phone category.

"With these products we've taken the first step in positioning ourselves for the mobile Internet and smartphone market," Jha said during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call Thursday. "And in 2010, there will be a variety of new devices as we expand the portfolio across various tiers. We will continue to shift the mix of products to respond to the growing smartphone opportunity."

Motorola, the iconic American company that had practically invented the cell phone market, has struggled for several years now. After the runaway success of the ultra-thin Motorola Razr in 2004, the company has been unable to come up with a hit phone, CNET News reports.

In the meantime, new Droid smart phone is fast, powerful, fully featured and well-designed -- a combination of adjectives we've never used for a Verizon cellphone.

When was the last time a Verizon phone got this much hype? The BlackBerry Storm? Ouch.

Yet, one is coming on Nov. 6, and it has a good chance of living up to the hype. A phone with Google's fast-improving Android operating system, a 5-megapixel camera with a flash and digital zoom, a well-implemented touch screen and a slide-out keyboard, The Los Angeles Times reports.

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