Quick! Panic! You’ve only had your brand new Droid X or Droid 2 for a matter of weeks! Verizon can’t seriously already be thinking about phasing them out, can they? Well, yes and no. The good news is that the date pegged for a potential ‘end of life’ for the two new Motorola handsets is March 31st, 2011. That is eight months away. The bad news is that is eight months away, a full 16 months before the contract on your new Android smartphone most likely expires.
Now ‘end of life’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘end of support,’ and we expect (or at least hope) updates and the like will continue to be pushed past the March 31st date, but at this rate we can’t say for sure. Still, we doubt this latest revelation is much to get worried about. If anything it gives us a good idea of when the next batch of Moto Droid successors should be emerging.
But this does bring up an interesting point of discussion. The lifespan of a smartphone seems to be decreasing rapidly, and most carriers admit this by allowing penalty-free early upgrades for their major handset launches. It was the case with both the Droid 2 and Droid X on Verizon, as well as with early iPhone upgraders on AT&T. I sense the industry, which is already in the middle of a restructuring of data plans and pricing based on smartphone usage, might shift towards one-year contracts becoming the norm at some point. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.