Motorola to be Verizon’s exclusive DROID manufacturer

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Motorola has been the most important DROID partner Verizon has had. In fact, we can thank much of Android’s popularity to the original Motorola DROID. Since then, their relationship has stayed really close and they are now ready to take it to the next step.

Verizon marketing executive Jeff Dietel has stated that Motorola will be the official and exclusive DROID manufacturer. This deal starts from the announcement of today’s Motorola DROID devices: the DROID Ultra, DROID Maxx and DROID Mini.

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While Motorola and the DROID brand always went together, other manufacturers like HTC and Samsung also gave it a try. Devices like the HTC DROID DNA and the Samsung DROID Charge are just a couple examples. But they never gained the popularity Motorola DROID phones earned.

This may prove to be a good deal for Motorola, which definitely needs the help in advertising and promotion. At the same time, many of you believe that the “DROID” brand has done nothing but confuse users and create discrepancies in the platform.

According to Jeff dietel, “Droid is a formula that works very well.” Do you agree with him?

[via CNET]

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  • fechhelm

    The “droid” name needs to go away.

    • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

      I really like the Droid branding. It’s an aggressive brand in a world of effeminate plasticky phones.

      • CalypsoArt

        Yep.

      • DavidVarghese

        You know the Droid branding needs to go when you got everybody referring to every Android phone as a Droid…

        DRRRROOOIIIIDDDD

        • Del373

          True, but then you just correct the general populous when they make that mistake. In reality it’s not really hurting anything when they refer to a non-droid android device as a droid.

          As long as Android gets more recognition I say keep the brand alive, who cares if somebody mistakenly refers to the S4 as a droid? The publicity is good for the OS after all.

          • bmg314

            Except when you correct the general populace on this particular mistake, they look at you with eyes that are glassed over, like you just gave them a two hour long lecture on the bottom dwelling sea urchin and it’s benefits to the exploration of the moons of Saturn.

            Or, you know, something completely boring.

          • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

            Don’t leave us hangin’… how does the exciting sea urchin benefit space exploration?!….. :)

        • http://twitter.com/marker1015 MrSix

          I’m sorry but I don’t get that logic. Why exactly does that mean it needs to go?

          • DavidVarghese

            The Droid commercials that Verizon and Motorola had put out, in my opinion, kind of gave the Droid line a silly aspect to it, with the characteristic “DRROOIIIDDDD” sound either before/after when the commercial begins/ends. It makes it look childish, and thus, when people think that all Android phones are Droids, then they think that Android is childish/silly. A common joke that my friends with iPhones make about Android is in fact those Droid commercials.

            To confuse all Android phones as Droid phones may be good for Motorola and Verizon, but not good for Android as a whole. Since Android is more than just the Droid line, and there are many other configurations of Android devices that either on par or outpace the Droid line. If someone doesn’t like their Motorola Droid device, then they assume its the same for all Android phones. That was apparent to me when I worked in retail. So it’s not painting the real picture of what Android really is, and for people to think that all Androids are Droids, isn’t good for Android in general.

            That’s why I think the Droid line needs to go. I hope I made sense, but I’m really tired right now.. :P

          • tomn1ce

            It doesn’t have to be Moto Droids responsible for leaving a bad taste in people’s mouth about Android. It can be any other Android device.

          • http://twitter.com/marker1015 MrSix

            That seems like just your own little microcosm really. I doubt many other people found the droid marketing “childish”. I’ve heard corny, cheesy, pointless etc etc. Childish though? Never heard that before, but hey everyone makes something different of it.

            And lets get one thing straight, android with few exceptions IS pretty much all the same.There’s really no huge differences from one device to another that could flummox a person unless they just don’t get android in general. I’ve never even held a touchwiz nature UX device before today, but I was able to instantly help a customer use the nav on her Galaxy S3 today…it just wasn’t that different from my Bionic, because it’s the same OS.

            That retail example, pretty iffy. Sounds like that person is assuming all android phones are Droids, and the fact that Droids are a branding exercise on Verizon escapes them, so it really has no impact on the situation. Droids don’t have some kind of specifically jacked up version of Android between them, so whatever issue they had with that phone if it was software related could just happen again on another android.

        • RussianDroid

          SO TRUE!

          Today I was watching BNN and the reporter was saying something about strong sales of iphones this quarter. And after he goes “…and the DROIDs are not doing as well…” I almost yelled “WHAAAAAT?” out-loud in the doctor’s office.

          Name needs to go.

      • Jordan Caviness

        i Love the Droid branding as well, thats why i wish it would come to Tmobile!!

  • Toasted_Cracker

    Yayyyyy!

    • shonangreg

      Hmm. Nevermind . . .

  • Scott Stafford

    The whole droid nomenclature is childish. Seriously? Droid? Maxx, HD, Ultra, Super, Mega…. Come up with something else for Christ sake.

    • Del373

      Gargantuan?

      • Subzer0

        Titanic?

        • Ajmcnicol

          Super Droid Fighting 2 Hyper Turbo Edition

    • tomn1ce

      Samsung already have the Mega for their Android devices. (-_-)

    • Don_SoLow

      You can say the same about Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, LG Optimus, etc.

  • ac

    So, basically, Verizon isn’t going to force the “Droid” name onto every Android phone released on the network. It’s making that exclusive to Motorola phones offered through Verizon. So, I’m still trying to figure out exactly how that will “help” Motorola? It still limits the offerings to those on Verizon (or those looking to move to Verizon). And with the amount that Verizon plans cost, how many people (in this economy) are really looking to make the switch over to them? All that the “Droid” moniker provides is a marketing tool. I don’t believe that will help bring Motorola out of the state that it was in before. If Motorola were smart, they’d tell Verizon that they’re fine with marketing the Motorola “Droid” line exclusively, but the phones will be released on other providers under Motorola’s name of choice. Guaranteed, if the Razr line from the past 2 years had been released across all the major carriers, instead of exclusive to Verizon, US sales would’ve been tremendously better.

    • Dean Politis

      I totally agree. I am a T-Mobile user and I would love to have the RAZR MAXX available to me. Let the other carriers use RAZR and Verizon can use DROID..

      • ac

        I’m on Sprint. Had they offered either the Droid Razr or Razr Maxx on Sprint 2 years ago, I would’ve gotten that instead of the original Motorola Photon. Heck, even going back further, if the original Droid or Droid 2 were offered when I first made the switch from Windows Mobile to Android (and still felt the need for a physical keyboard), I would definitely have jumped on the Motorola bandwagon earlier.

      • Jordan Caviness

        this is what i am saying!!!!!!

    • Del373

      I don’t think they’re saying that Motorola is only going to make phones for Verizon. They’re saying that the only company Verizon will go to for Droid branded phones is Motorola. We will likely see Moto tech on other major carriers as well, just give it time.

    • BlueLetter

      Yeah but you’re talking like this hurts them. This is their base after all, any growth they have from this point on wouldn’t come from eschewing what gave them the limited success they enjoyed before, that would be stupid risk for no reason.
      Also I seriously doubt some contract with Verizon kept them from bring similar features to other carriers stateside. I mean it’s possible but I’d have to see some proof of that first. I can’t think of a good reason they didn’t bring a Razr Maxx/HD equivalent to other carriers but I doubt, it had much to do with Verizon but I could be wrong.

      In any case their US sales were never really lacking as far as I recall, although honestly I haven’t checked since before the Razr HD came out, but before then they were the second biggest OEM in the US behind only Samsung. I think they actually might be even better served trying to form some kind of plan of attack to more deeply penetrate large markets that aren’t the US.

      • ac

        You should do a little fact checking then. Just from the last quarter of 2012! http://phandroid.com/2013/01/22/google-motorola-q4-results/ $1.51 billion in revenue, but a loss of $353 million for the quarter! That was the consistent trend for Motorola, even prior to the Google purchase being finalized last year. It was part of the reason that many articles were wondering if Google was making a good choice by buying Motorola. So, I’d absolutely say that having been in bed with Verizon exclusively for so long (as far as offering top tier phones) has hurt them. It’s like I said earlier, had they ventured to open up to the other providers, when it came to top tier offerings, they might actually have been looking at more profits in the long run, rather than taking losses every quarter.

        • BlueLetter

          Nah my facts are all checked, I suppose you skipped the part where I said “before the Razr HD came out.”?

          Anyway your thing about their deal with Verizon keeping them from expanding on other carriers is still just your conjecture though, and I don’t see how you arrived at it. When the Atrix came out, all Verizon got until then was the DroidX2 and the Atrix was better. The Photon on sprint was even better than that. The Atrix 2 was just a Bionic without LTE but it wasn’t like AT&T really had much of an LTE network at that point. The Atrix HD didn’t have the battery it deserved but other than that it was the same phone as the Razr HD, and the Photon Q…well it probably would’ve sold more if it was a slider but it was everybit as good as the competition on Sprint. So top tier offerings? They had those. They just never really sold. You’re not even taking into account the restructuring under google, and restructuring isn’t free…

          As for before that I suspect much the same, operating costs and maybe even moreso legal battles with microsoft and apple were a bigger issue rather than just the opportunity cost of not having more phones on other carriers.

          • ac

            Did the Razr hd sell enough to make up the 352 million in 4q? I had the photon and loved the phone. It didn’t nearly get the publicity and fanfare as the razr line did. But that’s straying from the point that Google should know the importance of selling a widely received product across multiiple carriers. They have had success with their nexus phones and the motorola x is headed in the right direction, but lacks the competitive hardware that the other high end phones offer…assuming the mid-range specs hold true.

          • BlueLetter

            353 million is the loss they incurred given what they did, but if they had to sell another phone on another carrier that cost would go up. They’d be buying more chips for more devices and more material to make them with and time to come up with a different design, because if they did it it wasn’t just going to be a Razr HD on another carrier. Add in the fact they’d be doing the marketing themselves and that 353 million probably would just baloon.
            And I don’t think Google knows jack squat about multiple carrier rollouts based on how they’ve done with Nexus devices in the past.

  • William_Morris

    This definitely makes me think that Moto X is not coming to VZW now :(.

    • Dean Politis

      Too bad the Moto X isn’t the equivalent of the DROID Maxx.

  • CerealFTW

    Cuz of other android phones, I think android gained enough awareness to be differentiated from droids. I haven’t heard anyone ask if I had a “droid phone”(HTC sensation user) in a while. I’m fine with it as this point. and I really wanted to see moto take off since Google bought them. I just hope they release good phones for other carriers also, as they’ve neglected tmobile and sprint quite a bit during the droid era and put themselves in a big hole

  • InspectorGadget80

    The HELL WITH VERIZON

  • chris420o

    i still use the droid text message notification sound…ill forever love droid…but i dont really like the look of these devices i want something symetrical and new like the moto x has me more excited even though these have better specs…well kinda

  • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

    Awesome! Love my 2 former Moto Droids.

  • InspectorGadget80

    FCK U VERIZON. getting the hefty battery and a sd card slot. STOP KISSING up Motorola ass for Motorola phones.

  • BigCiX

    Is getting old Verizon!

  • steveb944

    Aw man this basically lets us know we won’t be receiving top of the line devices on other carriers. I was really hoping for a great Motorola device to buy, but this kills that opportunity.

    As for benefits for Moto. Free advertising and if you REALLY want that device you sign up with the best network and highest prices, there’s so many users on Verizon that it’s a win win for them, especially since Verizon is normally the last to receive flagship devices you can expect a Droid to release before Galaxy/One device. A loss for the Droid would be an exclusive sign up on T-Mobile or Sprint where there aren’t enough users.

  • VersedNJ

    A good trademark that now has degressed into selling decent looking overpriced and underpowered phones. The present SGS4 and soon to be HTC One (on VZW) blows away anything in the new Droid line up. And at the same price.

    • jessez93

      how so?

  • Caffiend

    Behold the power of marketing. It’s really no different than a Xerox copy, a Band-Aid adhesive strip, Asprin, Kerosene, or a Yo-Yo. Motorola and Verizon have turned the term Droid into a generic trademark. Does it cheapen the Android universe? Not necessarily. It’ll just encourage others to better the band.

  • Endoverend

    “Droid” is symbolic of everything that’s wrong with the carrier ecosystem in the United States.

    The most powerful carrier creating its own brand of phones and tablets, locked down to best serve the needs of that carrier.

    Congratulations to Motorola for being the only device manufacturer foolish enough to engage in such an exclusivity agreement. It devalues the Motorola brand.

    • Ajmcnicol

      you do realize this a WIN for motorola..oay attention to the article..NOWHERE does it say that motorola will exclusively make phones only for verizon. they can still make phones for other brands (like the moto x coming to all carriers). It just means that the Droid brand itself will be motorola only. Its win/win for motorola. No other brand can make a Droid phone ..but they can make phones for other carriers still long as its not called “Droid xyz”.

      • Mark

        Throwing away your own brand is not a win. They are trading away long term global recognition and sales for a quick cash payout to a single carrier in a single country. It is monumentally a bad business decision, and has brought a once powerhouse mobile manufacturer to the brink of bankruptcy. 99% of the world doesn’t know what the hell a verizon is, and to these people Motorola is now drifting into irrelevance.

        Lets’s take stock:

        Android branding is simple, clean, unobtrusive, uniform, and generates excitement in the market.

        OEM branding has had a long hard struggle. Once a symbol of poor UI and performance decisions, it is only now perhaps smooth and feature rich enough to justify choosing over vanilla. In some cases. Maybe.

        Carrier branding is where the platform becomes truly gross and fragmented. It is responsible for spyware (carrierid), bloatware, slow response to updates for features and security, and confuses buyers.

        I hope this round of droids is due to some contractual obligation Motorola signed before the purchase by Google, because otherwise it is a huge misstep that hurts Google’s and Motorola’s position in the global marketplace.

        • Dean Politis

          I am not sure how this hurts Motorola in the global marketplace. The sell the Droid line of phones outside of the U.S. If anything, it may diminish their brand in the U.S., but I don’t think so. The Droid phones always include the manufacturer’s name and/or logo.

          • un-biased_user

            I can see it now haha. Droid X Phone by Motorola a Google Company.

  • Ajmcnicol

    People are miss interpreting the article. It says Droid=motorola. Motorola does NOT = droid.
    In other words this is a huge win for motorola. They are now the exclusive provider of phones for the Droid brand. BUT CAN STILL MAKE PHONES FOR OTHER CARRIERS , just without the droid name (ie Moto X coming to all carriers).
    So they can make stuff for anyone that they want..but others cant make Droid branded phones. It was a damn smart move on Motos part.

    • ryan rochford

      the issue is, that you end up with no accessories or device recognition this way. sprint made the mistake with “EVO” phones and HTC. The whole world gets the HTC OneX…..and sprint gets the “sister phone” the ‘HTC EVO 4G LTE’. While that was a great phone, good luck finding an otterbox in anything other then black, and good luck having a flagship phone.

      The HTC one was delayed on Verizon for this exact reason….because they just got the Droid DNA.

      as samsung and apple have proven with the iPhone and any thing newer then the galaxy s II, and now HTC is with the ONE, you need to have the exact same device on every carrier and internationally, if you want to have a successful flagship. With the exception of a few internal radios and sometimes a different (while comparable) SOC (that no normal customer would even notice). This will fragment motos lineup and set them back another year or 2.

      …Unless they take the EXACT same phones as are on the other carriers, just painted red and black. IE: the world gets the Moto xPhone and Verizon gets the “Droid xPhone, by motorola” …something like that may work.

  • Ajmcnicol

    As for specs….

    It depends on what your priorities are. Not everyone wants the fastest processor or the highest rez or at least those arent the biggest issue for them. The people that get the Maxx arent getting it cause they wanted the latest snapdragon chip..they are getting it for the massive battery. And thus to them its an even trade in specs and price..less resolution..bigger battery..etc..

    At this point, a 5 inch screen..the quality increase that is noticeable is negligable between 720p and 1080p. These arent 65 inch TVs people. And most apps and games barely are starting to take advantage of 2 cores let alone 4 or more.

    You have to remember that while we, tech geeks, are the most VOCAL..we are by far not the majority of the purchaser of phones. The general public is. To them a 1080p screen and a 720p screen is nothing when they are looking at it for 2 minutes at the store as they are comparing. 2 cores vs 4 cores…to them is “huh?”. But when you say this phone dies in 8 hours..this one lasts 48…that is something they DO know and care about.

  • Dvrcowboy

    Well they did pay out the yin yang to use the DROID moniker I guess they’re just trying to get their money’s worth

  • Marsg

    IMO nothing really stood out, the Voice thing is cool, but you have to put into account how many times your going to use that feature, we already have voice assistants and i haven’t seen anyone in public ever use them. The displays aren’t as good as today’s devices, neither is the CPU, the only thing that i thought was something was the higher spec Droid mini and the large battery in the Maxx, but other than that it just seemed like meh.

  • jessez93

    I wouldn’t say that as many people refer android as DROID as they used to back in the day. the droid line isn’t as popular as it once was and there are so many android phones available now. so I think that more of the average consumer know what “android” is. people saying that the DROID name should “go away” just don’t understand how important marketing is to these companies. should the Galaxy name go away as well? brats.

  • ntegrit

    I like the Droid name, and this move will at least bring a bit more coherence to the brand, as virtually no one has been able to tell me how Android phones are selected to wear that brand (Eris was, Thunderbolt wasn’t, Charge was, Galaxys weren’t, DNA was, One isn’t,)

  • droidbeat

    Droid is synonymous with Android, not any manufacturer. So, it doesn’t matter. I have a Droid, whether it’s Motorola or not.

  • demmo86rt

    This seems like more of a spin than anything else. Samsung and HTC aren’t doing carrier exclusives, so Moto gets “exclusive” rights to the DROID brand.

  • Rick Hultmark

    I take the DROID branding as meaning that the handset will have VZW bloatware as well as MOTO BLUR. The last VZW phone I bought was the (gimped) galaxy nexus. And after that VZW style not-so-nexus treatment…..I’m jumping the red ship as soon as there’s a nexus phone that grabs me.

    • raw666

      Yeah but have you actually had a real verizon droid phone?
      They are not bad. Hell I don’t want to give up my maxx as it is still working great after 1.5 years (Do not want to lose hdmi out).
      Also bloatware can be disabled in new versions of android from ICS up, and you will not even know they were there.

  • Max

    The reason the droid system is and was good for android, is its basically a system where Verizon puts a ton of money into advertising for the manufacturers, freeing up money and spreading the good word of android. Its good that they are giving it solely to Motorola now though, because having other manfacturers included always just muddled the waters, confusing everything.

    • Jeff Saul

      I totally agree with this. It was confusing. After I got my Original DROID, I actually thought the other Droids out the at the time were Moto as well. I actually thought the Droid Incredible by HTC was “Droid Incredible HTC” because at the time, I never heard of HTC. Of course now it is different.

      As far as the exclusive DROID to Moto, I am surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. Mainly because the Incredible, Charge, etc just didn’t do as well in the market (where EVERYTHING matters) as any of the Moto DROIDs (except maybe the Droid 3).

      In fact this may actually help the other carriers now. We are still going to see HTC One’s and Samsung Galaxy S’s, etc. on Verizon, but now they WILL have better identity than just being muddled with VERIZON=DROID.

      • Max

        Yea I think verizon was walking a very thin line, wanting to support android (and not have to deal with apple’s bullshit headon), convincing people to upgrade to smartphones from dumbphones, but not anger other carriers by putting all their weight behind one manufacturer. Competition is great, android makes ios better, and galaxy and htc and droid in turn make android stronger. Notice how google basically takes the strongest can’t live without features and integrates them back into stock android slowly (google now doing music recognition like shazam for example). I also hate most of the motoblur bloatware, but lets be honest its only bloat when we don’t like it. The preloaded apps i use anyways are just useful, and things like motocast are super useful, (google play music/google+ do the same stuff now, but in google fashion go to cloud instead local). sorry for the rant.

  • Christopher Woodruff

    So nothing has changed? Right. Carry on.

  • alex

    just the association between “droid” and a consumer device is funny – droids!!!! lol