Yesterday in New York, Google’s Motorola Mobility division made its debut product announcement after its acquisition. Unphased by Apple’s recent patent litigation success, and with its own litigation against the Cupertino giant in the works, Motorola announced three Android smartphones. One is designed to compete directly with the widely distributed 8 GB Apple 4S, while two others will extend the vision of the exceptional user experience Android OEMs have been known to create.
Available today, the Droid Razr M is aimed directly at the iPhone 4S with a $99 price tag. The timing of the announcement preempts the iPhone 5 announcement expected on September 12. Motorola VP of product management Rick Osterlo emphasized that the Razr M is designed to have the "perfect feel in the hand" similar to the "approximate size of the iPhone," which many people have noted to be comfortable. Compared to the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen, the Razr M boasts a 40% larger, 4.3-inch screen with greater color density. Touted to have superior battery management, the Razr M has a 2000 mAh battery compared to the iPhone’s 1432 mAh, eliminating or at least reducing the smartphone user’s constant search for power outlet oases during the daily journey through the mobile phone power desert.
Available in time for the holiday season will be two other models: the Razr HD and Razr HD MAXX. Designed with a larger form factor closer to the size of the Samsung Galaxy S III, these phones are distinguished by long battery life, a rich 4.7-inch display, and extremely fast performance executing data-intensive applications over 4G networks. The Razr HD ships with a 2500 mAh battery and the Razr HD Maxx with a 3300 mAh battery.
Verizon Wireless will be the exclusive distributor of these new Razr models that will show off the speed and capability of its 4G LTE network. What is clear is that these are not just highly engineered consumer devices; they are customer acquisition platforms that attract and engage consumers with the un-tethered mobile capability to run data-intensive applications like Google Maps, Facebook, YouTube and Skype in the way they would ordinarily run only on PCs or on Wi-Fi-connected mobile devices. This mobile platform consisting of data-intensive applications, compelling preloaded Google apps, fast un-tethered browsing and long battery life is game changing because it captures customers and increases the amount of mobile data intensive application time displaced from PCs (including Macs).
With this platform, Google and Verizon Wireless are addressing two of mobile users’ greatest pain points: network speed and short battery life. Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside made the point of graphically comparing the sleek Razr MAXX design with the iPhone combined with a third-party extended battery pack called a “mophie” that gave the iPhone an equivalent battery life.
In addition to selling brand-enhancing smartphones, Google gets more users of its services, more searches, more mobile advertisement opportunities and more location-based user data. Verizon Wireless captures new customers because these new Razrs will differentiate its best-in-class data network while it experiments with introducing new content services, such as Viewdini.