Will Android Boost Motorola?

Motorola has the top-selling phone in the US (the Razr V3). According to the NPD group the top five are:

  1. Razr
  2. iPhone
  3. BlackBerry Curve
  4. LG Chocholate
  5. BlackBerry Pearl

Note that three of these are smartphones. Indeed, smartphones now represent almost 20% of new phone sales (NPD). Motorola isn't really a player in the smartphone segment but a new smartphone based on the Android OS will seek to change that. 

Motorola has a 350 person team developing Android-based handsets. The Android Guys report on another job posting for the Android team within Motorola:

As a Senior Staff Interaction Designer, you will be responsible for leading and actively participating in the concept, design, documentation and development of user interfaces for our mobile products including our new Android Social Networking SmartPhone. You’ll lead brainstorming and work sessions, usability and innovation reviews and other forums of design development. In addition to your primary responsibility in the delivery of great design, you will also be expected to mentor other designers, bringing your personal strengths to the rest of the team.

Note: "Social Networking SmartPhone." That's interesting . . .

Nonetheless, creating a nicely designed Android smartphone could boost Motorola's position in the now critical segment. Especially if it's adopted by multiple carriers, as the Razr is today.

A year from now we're likely to have a range of Android-based phone in the market (US and EU), available from multiple carriers. There are two potential outcomes: they help their respective carriers defend against the iPhone and boost data-plan revenues at the same time (Android is less of a threat to the RIM enterprise market). Alternatively, and paradoxically, multiple Android phones may improve the position of the iPhone because it will be perceived as unique (multiple Android phones from multiple OEMs may dilute its "Google Phone" brand value).