Mobile
News
7/31/2009
12:04 PM
50%
50%

Motorola Plans Low-Cost Android Phones

Motorola says it will use Google's Android platform to make smartphones at feature phone prices.

Motorola will be making a strong push with the Google-backed Android operating system, and the pricing of these handsets will be a big part of its strategy.

Manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and HTC are also using the Linux-based operating system for handsets, but Motorola appears to be taking the most aggressive approach. While the smartphone market is rapidly growing, the majority of U.S. customers still use handsets classified as feature phones. Motorola said it can use Android to create devices that have the capabilities of smartphones but with the pricing of feature phones.

"Our core strategy really is to take Android as low down the feature phone tier as we possibly can, by bringing in smartphone features," sand Co-CEO Sanjay Jha in a conference call Thursday.

The company plans to have two Android smartphones out before the holiday season for two major U.S. carriers, one of which may be Sprint Nextel. Additionally, the handset maker said it will have multiple Android devices in the first quarter of 2010.

Motorola is jumping into a potentially crowded field, as Google said it expects up to 20 Android handsets to be released before the end of the year. Motorola is working with developers to potentially preload applications on its handsets in order to differentiate from the competition.

Motorola's low-cost strategy is not without risk, as the Linux-based mobile operating system does need some strong hardware to run optimally, and this could hurt Motorola's margins. Additionally, the initial price of the handset may not be as important to consumers as the need for a monthly data plan, which can cost up to $30 per month in addition to voice services.


InformationWeek has published a 360-degree analysis of the first Android-based smartphone. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.