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5 Things the Motorola Droid Bionic Needs to Survive



Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha confirmed the bad news to the legions of people interested in his company’s upcoming 4G LTE smartphone, the Motorola Droid Bionic: It’s not launching until September.

I’ve already outlined several reasons why the Droid Bionic needed to launch in August. Well, that’s not happening anymore and last night, after I let loose on Motorola, I calmed down and started to think about things Motorola could do to make the Droid Bionic a success and survive the competition that’s right around the corner.

I’ve heard from a lot of you former Droid Bionic fans in the past couple of days who now plan on getting either the Samsung Galaxy S II or the iPhone 5 when it launches in September.

Before you make your final decision, have a look at five ways I think Motorola can salvage the Motorola Droid Bionic’s launch and possibly get some consumers who were thinking about heading in a different direction.

Droid Bionic

Affordable Pricing

We still have no idea how much the Droid Bionic is going to cost. I’ve heard $250 but I’ve also heard $300. I’m leaning toward a $300 sticker price because we’re talking about the first dual-core 4G LTE smartphone. If you recall, Verizon asked for $250 for the HTC ThunderBolt at launch. Oh wait, it still does. So I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Droid Bionic land for fifty more dollars.

So, what if Verizon, in an effort to quell the fires and pitchforks, dropped the price down to something like $200? I mean, it’s already going to be hard enough trying to convince people to sign into tiered data with a 4G LTE device, why not give them a nice discount for doing so? Maybe even give those looking to upgrade the same incentive?

It would be a nice gesture on Big Red’s part. Still, I’m convinced of Moto and Verizon’s arrogance and I see this phone launching for some exorbitant price that’s not going to help its cause.

Fantastic Marketing

Droid Commerical

Remember how awesome the original Droid 'Stealth' commercial was?

Yesterday, I talked about how bad Verizon’s recent commercials are. In a time when advertising their 4G LTE network and Android devices are absolutely crucial, their marketing falls completely flat on its face. Big Red needs to find an identity for its 4G LTE brand and the dunk tank commercial doesn’t cut it.

Why not bury that commercial underneath a mountain of awesome marketing for the Droid Bionic? After all, this is going to be a flagship phone and according to Sanjay Jha, the first dual-core 4G LTE on the market.

Bring out the over-the-top ridiculousness that you’ve done for other Droid devices. If the iPhone and Galaxy S II don’t have LTE, make sure you absolutely hammer home the fact that your network is rapidly expanding and that signing a two year contract with a non-LTE phone would be madness right now.

I realize that Verizon is launching both a Galaxy S II and iPhone but the Galaxy S II is likely going to be 3G and the iPhone will sell itself.

Hope for Minimal Competition

This is not something that Motorola can do, but rather, something that Motorola has to hope that its competitors don’t do and that’s release a 4G LTE device around the same time as the Droid Bionic.

There is speculation that Verizon will not be launching a 4G LTE enabled Samsung Galaxy S II. Well, I still think it’s still possible that Samsung could surprise us. And if not Samsung, maybe another company working overtime to get a 4G LTE device out into a weak market.

That being said, Motorola absolutely has to hit this September launch date and it has to hope that the Droid Bionic doesn’t face any 4G LTE competition. If the market is quiet, Motorola will probably sell a lot of these.

Be First to the Good StuffIce Cream Sandwich

As I’ve said before, this September launch date puts consumers in a tough spot. Google is likely going to be putting out a new Nexus device with the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Nexus devices are the first to get major Android updates and usually get them without any headaches.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread has not been kind to Motorola or its phones. Some Droid X owners saw their phone get bricked and every other Droid-branded device except the Droid X2 have yet to receive an upgrade.

Why not wash away that bad track record by publicly announcing that where you failed with Gingerbread, you’ll succeed with Ice Cream Sandwich. Maybe a guarantee that the Droid Bionic will be one of the first to get the update and then work tirelessly to make it happen. Talk the talk and then walk the walk.

I have a feeling that that would restore a lot of faith in your fleeting fan base.

We’re still in the dark on what processor the Droid Bionic will have when it arrives but there is a distinct possibility it will have an OMAP4 chip from Texas Instruments. The OMAP4 is the only processor with Netflix HD certification which means that devices with it on board will eventually be able to play content in 1080p quality. Why not aim to be the first device with this available and make that known to consumers?

Not only would that satisfy the 4G LTE geeks but it would also bring in tons of average smartphone users who love Netflix.

A Flawless Launch

There are obviously some pitfalls to adopting 4G LTE right now and those have been polarized with the issues that the HTC ThunderBolt has been having. Battery life issues, connectivity problems, and the LTE hotspot not working as advertised are just a few off the top of my head.

Hopefully, the extra time that Motorola spent concocting the new and improved Droid Bionic means that we’ll have a flawless launch in September.

It’s no secret why the ThunderBolt’s price has dropped to $50 at retailers. It has had serious issues. If Motorola is able to limit these and provide a phone that has good battery life with 4G LTE speeds, people are going to be interested. But the leash is short, shorter than any phone in recent memory.

If there are any major problems with the phone – reboots, insanely bad battery life – word will get around quick and the Droid Bionic will have bought itself a one way ticket to the bargain bin.

What does the Motorola Droid Bionic need (besides an August release you snarky rascals) for you to convince you to buy it? Or have you been planning to buy it all along?



  1. Matt Greenburg

    07/29/2011 at 8:06 pm

    to actually be the first dual core  LTE Verizon device. If samsung beets them to the punch I see no reason to get an already troublesome phone

    • Corymcnutt

      08/01/2011 at 2:14 am

      “Already troublesome phone;” where do you get off saying that? This phone is totally different than the first one – Moto was developing it’s own LTE chip and it is ready to sell. Verizon is the one that set the September release date. That being said, with all of this time to test it, it better be a great phone.

  2. Brian McDowell

    07/29/2011 at 8:09 pm

    I need Motorola to promise that this device will kiss me on the lips.  Otherwise I’m gonna feel like I got raped.

  3. Anonymous

    07/29/2011 at 9:44 pm

    I wish we knew what the actual specs are going to be not only for the Bionic but the iphone5 and the Galaxy S2 (could someone please explain to me what is the point of keeping it a secret when your going to release it at some point anyways). If the iphone5 and Galaxy S2 are not 4G then Motorola has nothing to worry about however Jha will have a lot of explaining to do at there next board meeting when Motorola’s stock takes another nose dive if the iphone5 is 4G. 

  4. Kevin

    07/29/2011 at 11:30 pm

    First dual-core 4G LTE smartphone gets my purchase….simple as that. 

    Right now it looks like Samsung wants to take me to the dance, but I’m a cheap slut, I’ll go with whomever offers up the goods.

  5. Nospam

    07/30/2011 at 3:54 pm

    Long-suffering Verizon customers know that Big Red is ALWAYS a good six-months to a year behind on the best phones, and this is just another example (I bought my girlfriend the equivalent Motorola Atrix on AT&T last MARCH).

    As other posters have said, the first one to bring a dual-core 4G phone to actual sale on Verizon gets my money too, and I’m actually hoping now that it is Samsung as I have lost a great deal of faith in Motorola waiting past false promises.

  6. KingKong

    07/30/2011 at 5:44 pm

    #1 on the list should have been to release in August before the Iphone5 and SGII…..

  7. Onux16

    07/31/2011 at 3:44 am

    I gave up on the Bionic.  I bought the Thunderbolt (retail price!) instead.  And since I really don’t see the point in having what is essentially a larger version of my Incredible and no nearby 4G service, I’m keeping the Incredible and returning the Thunderbolt.  I’d rather deal with my sh**y droid incredible for the next seven months than buy their phone — if only Motorola could see that.

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