Is the Laptop Dock the Culprit Behind the New Droid Bionic Form Factor?
Given Motorola’s recent confirmation that it would be bringing the Laptop Dock accessory to more smartphones in the future and the company’s CEO stating that the Droid Bionic will be delayed and will be launching with a new form factor, it begs the question if these two separate statements may in fact be correlated with each other.
Earlier this year, there were talks out of Motorola’s camp that the Atrix 4G won’t be the only smartphone sporting a Laptop Dock and that the feature and accessory will also be hitting the Droid Bionic later this year once the Webtop OS (which is the Linux OS that powers the Laptop Dock) gets ported for the Droid Bionic. This was recently confirmed by Motorola, which says that it will be bringing the Laptop Dock to more devices in the second half of this year.
In the state that the Droid Bionic was announced in at CES–a device a 4.3-inch display–that device would not be compatible with the Atrix’s Laptop Dock. As the Droid Bionic is a larger device, measuring 4.96 X 2.63 X 0.52-inch, with a larger 4.3-inch display, it would not fit in the Laptop Dock with its molded dock for the Atrix 4G as the Atrix has a smaller footprint, 4.64 X 2.5 X 0.43-inch, and smaller 4-inch screen.
Given CEO Sanjay Jha’s statement that the Droid Bionic would be launching with a new form factor alongside the Motorola Xoom’s 4G LTE upgrade, it’s unclear still if Motorola intends to keep the larger 4.3-inch size. If it does, this would create compatibility problems between the Atrix 4G and the Droid Bionic if the same size and form-fitted dock on the optional Laptop Dock accessory was used for both devices.
Could Motorola, then, be trying to slim down and shorten the Droid Bionic to use the same Laptop Dock as the Atrix 4G?
Another option, however, is for Motorola to create a universal Laptop Dock with a universal dock, much like what Apple had done with its universal iPod/iPhone dock, in which users can buy and outfit the dock with custom inserts to make the dock compatible with their own Motorola phone.
Engadget reports that “You will see multiple devices from us in the second half launching with these capabilities, and we will expand the range of our Lapdock devices so we cover a broader price point, addressing both the enterprise premium tier as well as more consumer tiers.”