All eyes are on Motorola this week as Motorola Mobile Devices CEO Sanjay Jha is set to make the company’s first Android product announcement during his keynote at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
Many analysts and media outlets are characterizing this event as Motorola’s make-or-break moment. Indeed, the true results won’t be known until we get through the holiday sales season. But now is the time Motorola needs to impress, and impress in a big way, the sphere of bloggers, gadget gurus, investors and analysts who are watching.
The Android phones it releases really should have some super-human power to them. They have to be more than a great way to access Facebook and other social networking sites. They have to give us some of the razzle-dazzle that made the company proud in the RAZR heydays. And, of course, Motorola has to announce a carrier (or two).
The not-very-well-kept “secret” is Motorola will launch the Android-based Sholes with Verizon Wireless in October. However, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman says Verizon is not involved in the Sept. 10 Motorola event. The carrier has said it will have Android phones this year, but it hasn’t announced a manufacturer.
Sprint Nextel just announced its first HTC Hero/Android device last week, and AT&T hasn’t exactly thrown its arms around Android, although it could come out of left field. T-Mobile USA is the most likely carrier suspect for launching Motorola’s first Android phone, as PC Magazine’s Sascha Segan pointed out last week. Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer at T-Mobile, is an afternoon keynoter at the GigaOM conference, upping the speculation that T-Mo is the one. Among other things, Brodman is responsible for “ideation,” as well as development and operations of new products, services, mobile phones and devices.
While T-Mobile is nothing to sneeze at, it’s got on the order of 33 million customers compared to Verizon’s 87.7 million. Given all the attention centered on Motorola this week and its track record the past several years, it really, really needs Verizon on board in a very public way – now.