Don’t be fooled by the title – we’re happy and grateful that Motorola is announcing ANYTHING on September 10th, but its not the best case scenario considering Motorola at one point has/had 4 Android phones in the rumor mill: Morrison, Sholes, Calgary and Heron. But the most recent rumors suggest the Calgary and Heron have been permanently shelved and the Sholes will meet the world another time.
Last week we brought you word that the HTC Lancaster was canceled, saying that AT&T felt the phone would already be outdated upon launch. Or maybe Apple threatened them with iPhone exclusivity… that we’ll never know. But apparently the Motorola Heron is dead in the water as well, according to MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen:
The loss of AT&T as a distribution partner “changes the winter outlook for Motorola dramatically,” he writes. The analyst contends that the success of the $99 Apple iPhone, combined with a possible November launch for a $99 Palm device called the Eos, could put AT&T in a situation where the $100 price level “is already full of models featuring very advanced software and display technology.”
Kuittinen says the two models Motorola was developing for AT&T, code-named Sawgrass and Heron, were prototyped using Windows Mobile, and that remodeling them using Android added so much development time that they looked dated before birth. He says Sawgrass was supposed to target teens, with Heron aimed at college students and young professionals. “These devices could have played a pivotal role in Motorola’s game plan of creating a range of Android models, focused on social networking – Twitter and Facebook in particular,” he writes.
Then you’ve got the Motorola Sholes destined for Verizon Wireless that the analyst suggests will be too expensive for success at $199:
the price tag could be too high for a phone he says is targeted at a youth demographic. He says the phone is likely to feature a graphics accelerator capable of 3D gaming performance that exceeds the Sony PSP handheld – while an “impressive accomplishment,” he thinks the intended price is going to look high versus rivals.
If you’ve seen the Sholes I think its safe to say $199 seems like a fair price point and the fact that its an Android launching on Verizon Wireless? I really don’t think it will have a hard time selling. But will it be announced on September 10th in San Francisco at Motorola’s grand unveiling? Probably not and here is why.
The Motorola Android event isn’t an event orchestrated solely by Motorola in order to celebrate the launch of the their Android’s. It is an event called Mobilize 2009 put on by GigaOM that has over a dozen speakers of which Motorola is just one. Shall we take a look at the list of speakers and keynotes?
That is a LOT of speakers. And guess who are the only TWO of those listed as part of the “Keynote Lineup” on the Mobilize website? Dr. Sanjay K. Jha (Co-CEO of Motorola) and Cole Brodman (CTO T-Mobile). We already know the Motorola Morrison is headed to T-Mobile, so the writing is on the wall. Things don’t look good for a Sholes/Verizon announcement as Verizon Wireless isn’t represented amongst the 60+ speakers at the event… and according to a WSJ article we shouldn’t plan on it:
Verizon Wireless is expected to carry one of Motorola’s two planned Android devices, but the carrier told Dow Jones this week it will not participate in the Sept. 10 Motorola event.
So there you have it… at the September 10th Motorola event the company is likely to announce yet ANOTHER T-Mobile Android phone – the Motorola Morrison. No Verizon. No Sholes. No Calgary. No Heron. But on a positive Andy Rubin WILL be there and leading a fireside chat:
It’s pretty sweet that Rubin has agreed to be a part of what’s turning out to be the single biggest Android party of 2009. With Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha on hand to launch that company’s portfolio of Android phones, T-Mobile USA’s CTO Cole Brodman talking about his company’s mobile Internet strategy and the role Android is going to play in the future, and now Rubin, our event should be on the must-attend list for anyone invested in the Android ecosystem.
Wait Wait WAIT! the above quote comes from a GigaOM article. Remember it is GigaOM who is hosting this event. They say “portfolio” of Android Phones and the article title says “devices”. To me… that sounds plural. I suppose Motorola could announce a phone with announcing the partnering carriers yet, right?
Just when we thought we had it all figured out! There are only two ways to determine what Motorola will actually announce and that is by either:
- Attending the event yourself
- Following live coverage on Phandroid – we’ll be there!
Usually these types of events are invitation only to members of the Press, but being a publicly accessible conference YOU can come to the event should you choose. But you’ve still gotta pay for a ticket which doesn’t come cheap at all – $545. But if you’re that obsessed and have the money to blow, hit up the Mobilize Event Registration Page and we’ll see you there!
Please note that mostly everything above is based on speculation and rumor, including the notion that if you buy a ticket you’ll 100% get to witness the Motorola Android presentation although we can only assume since you’re paying $545 to be at the actual event!