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Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha.  (Source: Phandroid)

Bravo

Citrus

Defy

Flipout

Flipside

Spice
Three devices headed to Verizon, at least one apiece for T-Mobile and AT&T

While much of the news this morning is dominated by Verizon and Motorola announcing two new Android handsets -- the Droid Pro and Citrus -- the bigger story is that Motorola unveiled seven upcoming Android devices of varying pedigree, Phandroid reports. The announcement came from Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha at a pre-CTIA conference.

We've already provided a rundown of the Droid Pro, so here's what to expect from the other six devices.

The Motorola Citrus, officially announced by Verizon yesterday, is designed to be an entry-level smartphone. It features a simple slab 3" QVGA touchscreen (no physical keypad), and will be running Android 2.1 with MOTOBLUR. Pricing for the device wasn't released, but it's safe to assume that the Citrus will fall under the $100 category with a qualifying two-year contract.

The Motorola Bravo is another entry-level smartphone, this time for AT&T. It boasts a 3.7" WVGA touchscreen with a 3-megapixel shooter. It, too, will be running Android 2.1. It should be available before year's end.

The Motorola Defy is being heralded as the "life-proof" device, meaning that it is durable enough to sustain many of life's mishaps -- falls, water, dust, and other unnecessary roughness. It boasts a Corning Gorilla Glass 3.7" touchscreen display and a 5-megapixel camera. The Defy has a similar form factor to the Droid Incredible, will run Android 2.1, and will be available from T-Mobile before year's end.

The Motorola Flipout is set to be a teen magnet, with its swerving QWERTY mechanism and colorful interchangeable battery covers. Its keyboard is comfortable under a 2.8" display. It will be running Android 2.1, and boasts a 3-megapixel camera. The Flipout is slated for a Verizon launch by year's end.

The Motorola Flipside, not to be confused with the Flipout, is similar to T-Mobile's Motorola CLIQ, but will be headed AT&T's way. Highlights include Android 2.1, 3.1" screen, 3-megapixel camera, 3.5mm headset jack, and FM radio. It will also be available in the before the new year.

The Motorola Spice is flavored for Latin America; reports say that it is headed to Brazil first. Nothing too different here -- Android 2.1, 3" QVGA screen, 3-megapixel shooter. 

Though it's a bit disappointing that, with the exception of the Droid Pro, none of the new Motorola Android devices will be running Froyo out of the box, it's also worthwhile to note that Moto isn't gunning for top-tier users or early adopters. What they're gunning for is the under-developed, second- and third-tier consumers who may have been hesitant to jump into the smartphone game because of high price points. By releasing a flurry of similar hardware/software in different form factors, Motorola is positioning itself as the economical Android alternative -- just in time for Christmas.



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Why 2.1?
By tlbj6142 on 10/6/2010 8:34:36 AM , Rating: 4
Hasn't 2.2 been available for some time. And, I think, it boast some nice performance improvements.




RE: Why 2.1?
By deputc26 on 10/6/2010 8:48:47 AM , Rating: 2
No Kidding, a little disappointing Moto, especially on the defy.


RE: Why 2.1?
By Samus on 10/6/2010 9:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
2.1 is fine for some of these are really cheap, basic devices. Motorola's strategy is clear: ditch their own R&D and roll out Android across their entire product portfolio. Sure, they might have a WinMO7 phone or two, but Android is free and that's really hard to beat.


RE: Why 2.1?
By corduroygt on 10/6/2010 9:31:42 AM , Rating: 1
If Android's free, why aren't they using 2.2 instead of 2.1? It's not like 2.2 is going to cost more.


RE: Why 2.1?
By dani31 on 10/6/2010 10:19:38 AM , Rating: 5
Android is not a magic thing that you throw over any piece of phone hardware and boom - you're done.

There is a lot of work in writing device drivers and controller firmwares, pinning them to the operating system, optimizing performance, testing stability etc.

When the phones we see today begun their design and development cycle, Android 2.2 was only a name on a roadmap, maybe 2.1 was available to manufacturers. All the software development work has to be re-done for 2.2 an that is going to cost more.

And this IS a problem for Android, platform development is too fast and too costly for hardware manufacturers, and consumer satisfaction drops really quick when updates are delayed or canceled.


RE: Why 2.1?
By MozeeToby on 10/6/2010 11:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
All the software development work has to be re-done for 2.2 an that is going to cost more.
Not re-done, certainly modifications will need to be made but I find it exceedingly unlikely complete rewrites will be required. In fact I'd bet that a large amount of the effort is in testing, followed by optimizations, followed by new feature development. It's not like 2.2 uses a totally different driver framework than 2.1 does.


RE: Why 2.1?
By aegisofrime on 10/6/2010 1:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, while there is work to be done it's not as much as a rewrite. In fact, I would argue that if they are going to release a 2.2 update in the future, why not do the work now and release the devices with 2.2 at launch? Unless of course, Motorola does not plan to support 2.2 on these devices.


RE: Why 2.1?
By blueboy09 on 10/10/2010 11:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
I have to say that I agree on this too. It DOES take money, millions and millions of dollars poured into R&D just to change a design or software improvement. That's how R&D works. You just can't expect to get things for free went it costs something to develop it in the first place. If more of their product is sold, then the engineers get more money for R&D to make more modifications/improvements in their future/existing products. Call it a catch-22 for R&D, and that's basically how R&D is defined for products that are successful (give or take a few guidelines or policies for each company of course). - BLUEBOY


RE: Why 2.1?
By MozeeToby on 10/6/2010 10:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
There's still plenty of R&D to do, on both the hardware and software sides, you just don't need to invest time into an OS. And really, why should they? They have what is obviously a popular, robust, flexible Operating System at their disposal, it would be foolish to try to compete with it when you can take what is freely available and modify it to suit your needs.


RE: Why 2.1?
By Shatbot on 10/6/2010 5:03:48 PM , Rating: 4
As long as I get texts from girls called "Christine Fanni" saying their coming over, I'd be fine with just about anything.


RE: Why 2.1?
By bug77 on 10/6/2010 9:55:00 AM , Rating: 2
They figured outdated software goes nicely with their unhackable bootloader.


RE: Why 2.1?
By theapparition on 10/6/2010 10:37:19 AM , Rating: 3
Really?
Because Root and custom ROMs have been available for a while now for thier eFuse devices (eg Droid X). Welcome to August.


RE: Why 2.1?
By sleepeeg3 on 10/6/2010 8:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
This really shouldn't be an issue or feature if all the phone OSs were made easier to upgrade.


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