Motorola Droid X: 'Meaningful for CIOs'

We're here live at the launch of the Motorola Droid X smartphone, the successor to the original Droid.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

We're here live at the launch of the Motorola Droid X smartphone, the successor to the original Droid, on Verizon Wireless.

Here we go...

1:15 pm ET: Google CEO Eric Schmidt makes an introductory surprise appearance!

"You need an incredibly fast and [responsive] network."

"This is our second generation, and it works. You've got to have a software platform that scales. A real operating system."

"This is not a toy. This is not just an app engine. What it is is a really important operating system."

"It's not one product. It's not one network. It's not one application. It's the sum of it all."

"People are thinking mobile first."

1:25 pm ET: Some specs. 4.3 inch screen, full HD capture and playback. Verizon Vcast video on the device. Verizon inked a deal with Blockbuster. Also inked a deal to preload NFL Mobile app. Skype mobile. Back-up assistant.

1:30pm: One exec whose name I didn't catch (Update: John Stratton): "When you have a screen and form factor like this, it certainly screams video."

"Skype mobile has been integrated, deeply integrated on our product."

1:30pm ET: Motorola CEO for mobile Sanjay Jha is up.

"We're going to deliver an unparalleled experience."

Motorola's 11th smartphone.

"Every time I launch a smartphone, I get more and more excited about what is possible, in terms of computing power."

"Becoming the digital mainstream device for consumers."

"You go back to your home to pick up this device."

"Much more personal, much more connected and more mobile."

"We're in the early days."

Jha speaks about convergence - internet, mobility, computing, media.

"This is the largest opportunity in technology today."

"More people now access the Internet using their mobile devices."

"91 percent of home now have wireless. 23 percent of them don't have any land line at all."

"Media is going mobile."

Preloaded with Swype -- "I'm personally excited that Swype comes with this."

Wi-Fi hotspot, too.

"All of these things make it more meaningful for CIOs."

"We have taken our game to the next level."

1:38pm ET: Andy Rubin is up. Cites teamwork for the release; notes 160,000 Android devices a day.

1:40pm ET: Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe, is up.

"They want [content] wherever they want."

"Where Adobe comes in is about enabling all that content on the web."

"Flash continues to be the world's most pervasive software."

"We have 70 percent of the world's casual games, including FarmVille from Zynga."

Mentions enterprises and how software is being overhauled for engagement, but doesn't get specific.

"We want to bring the power of content to this particular platform."

"We had to completely rewrite Flash Player 10.1"

"Unfettered access to content."

1:44pm ET: More details. Shipping July 15. $199.99 after $100 rebate, $29.99 smartphone service, mobile hotspot for 5 devices is $20 extra.

"Any customer who has a contract that comes up anytime in 2010 can immediately upgrade to the device at launch. Our goal is to get as many of these in customers' hands as we can."

1:46pm ET: It's Q&A time.

Question 1: When will there be a Google desktop client to aggregate contacts?

Answer 1 from Jha: "We will deliver a client with this device which will enable you to do that."

Question 2: About pricing and data caps.

Answer 2: For $29.99 a month, you get unlimited EVDO and with mobile hotspot, devices are $20 for 2GB.

Question 3: Motoblur?

Answer 3 from Jha: Comes with Motoblur! Ships with Android 2.1.

Question 4: About battery life. Earlier, Jha had touted this phone's leading battery.

Answer 4 from Jha: "We think the battery life of this will be comparable" to the original Droid, despite a bigger display. Adds that bigger battery may come, adding a millimeter of thickness to device.

Answer 4 from John Stratton: passes the "hammering phone all day" test.

Question 5: About upgrade policy.

Answer 5: If contract ends in 2010, upgrade allowed immediately.

Question 6: About Android developers' take (millions or billions?).

Answer 6: We haven't disclosed any of those numbers. Rubin: Android is "everybody's operating system."

Question 7: About Motoblur delay for up-to-date.

Answer 7: Jha: Froyo upgrade available "late summer."

Question 8: Worldwide launch?

Answer 8: Jha: U.S. only device only for Verizon. Some devices overseas may look similar, but no exact replication.

Last comment about data overages for tethering: 5 cents per megabyte.

1:54pm ET: And that's a wrap! We have a hands-on demo scheduled for 2:45pm ET. Stay tuned!

1:55pm ET: And the official press release is live:


DROID X Delivers More Browsing, More Connectivity, Personal HD Video and Enterprise Features – All on a 4.3" Widescreen

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation's largest and most reliable wireless 3G network, and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), a pioneer in the mobile industry, today unveiled DROID X by Motorola. DROID X does more with ultra high-speed Web browsing; a fast 1GHz processor; 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities; loads of memory; intuitive social messaging; Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 ready; and access to Android Market™, which has more than 65,000 applications, along with a host of unique Verizon Wireless applications such as NFL Mobile, Skype mobile™, V CAST Video, EA Need for Speed Shift™ and more.

"Nine months ago, we made a commitment to our customers to bring the openness of Android to the Verizon Wireless network," said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. "Since then, we have introduced the top-selling Android phone in the marketplace today – the DROID by Motorola. DROID X takes that commitment to another level with exclusive content, faster processing speeds, and, of course, the reliability of our network."

Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobile Devices and Home business added, "Motorola designed DROID X to push the extreme limits of Android innovation, and enable you to do even more with your mobile device. We are breaking down barriers so that you can experience the Web the way it was meant to be and create, share and view content like never before, either in your hand or in your home. Enterprise users will also find DROID X appealing with features including push e-mail and live widgets for e-mail and calendar updates."

DROID X gives customers a 4.3-inch high-resolution screen for viewing the latest movies and video from BLOCKBUSTER On Demand® presented by V CAST Video, the newest addition to the Verizon Wireless V CAST application, which also includes access to favorite TV shows. The DROID X video capabilities let customers capture spontaneous fun, combining a dual-flash, 8-megapixel camera, HD camcorder, as well as DLNA and HDMI connectivity to download, stream and share personal HD content.

DROID X customers will also receive Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 with an over-the-air update in the latter half of the summer. With the update, the Flash Player will allow mobile users to experience hundreds of sites with rich applications and content inside the browser, including games, animations, rich Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations and visualizations, ecommerce, music, video, audio and more.

"It has been an exciting time for Android momentum and global consumer adoption since the announcement of DROID by Motorola nine months ago," said Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Google. "There are 160,000 new Android-powered devices activated daily and Android Market has grown to over 65,000 applications. Plus later this summer, Verizon Wireless and Motorola will update all the DROID by Motorola phones to the latest 2.2 software. For customers, this means great new features and improved browser performance. For developers, this will provide new tools such as cloud-to-device messaging and enhanced enterprise functionality."

"We are excited about full Flash support coming to the DROID X and other devices from Motorola," said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe. "Flash Player 10.1, which is one of Adobe's most anticipated releases ever, has been redesigned from the ground up to deliver the kind of highly engaging experiences that consumers now expect from their mobile devices."

Once updated to Android 2.2, business customers will find DROID X offers the features that turn the device into a workhorse with support for both Exchange and Gmail™ for business. Corporate users can enjoy push delivery of e-mail; live widgets that stream messages to the home screen; filter widgets to differentiate work and home e-mail; corporate directory and Global look-up along with a unified calendar for Enterprise and sync with Google Calendar™. Security protocols allow remote password control and wipe via Exchange server.

Pricing and Availability DROID X by Motorola will be available at www.verizonwireless.com and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning July 15 for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers will receive the mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted. In addition to subscribing to a Nationwide Talk plan or a Nationwide Talk & Text plan, customers will also need to subscribe to an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.

Customers can add the optional 3G Mobile Hotspot service to their DROID X for $20 per month. The 3G Mobile Hotspot allows customers to turn the phone into a wireless modem for up to five compatible Wi-Fi devices. In addition, current Verizon Wireless customers who have contracts ending by December 31, 2010, can upgrade to any smartphone, including DROID X, without penalty.

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