Motorola Mobility on Thursday announced that stockholders voted to approve Google’s proposed $12.5 billion merger. At the company’s special stockholder meeting on Thursday, roughly 99% of Motorola shares voting cast their vote in favor of the acquisition, which amounts to $40 per share in cash for complete ownership of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased and gratified by the strong support we have received from our stockholders, with more than 99 percent of the voting shares voting in support of the transaction,” Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Google to realize the significant value this combination will bring to our stockholders and all the new opportunities it will provide our dedicated employees, customers, and partners.” First announced back in August, Google intends to acquire Motorola Mobility and run it as a separate entity in terms of operations. As Google CEO Larry Page explained, however, patents are also a big part of the deal. Google intends to use the tens of thousands of patents it will control as a result of the merger as a new line of defense in a series of patent battles between its various Android partners and aggressively litigious companies like Apple and Microsoft. Motorola’s full press release follows below. More →
Motorola’s senior vice president of portfolio and product management Alain Mutricy confirmed on Wednesday that the DROID RAZR, announced Tuesday for Verizon Wireless, will receive an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update early next year. Mutricy explained that the phone was designed to run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which will be installed when it hits the market, but that Motorola has already created a time frame for an Android 4.0 roll-out, Pocket-lint said. Without support for NFC, however, features such as Android Beam will not be operational. The DROID RAZR is equipped with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a large Super AMOLED Advanced display with a qHD resolution, an 8-megapixel camera and support for Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network. Pre-orders for the phone begin on October 27th and it will be available in stores in November for $299.99 with a new two-year contract. More →
We’re live at Motorola and Verizon Wireless’s press conference in New York City where the smart money is on a fresh new DROID smartphone that will launch in the coming weeks. Motorola’s new full-touch DROID is expected to be RAZR-thin, and it will feature some pretty formidable specs according to BGR’s exclusive report from last week. With a $99 iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, Motorola’s new DROID and a brand new Galaxy Nexus all set to be on store shelves before the holidays, it looks like Verizon is once again the place to be for high-end smartphone fans. Hit the break for our live coverage of the press conference, which is scheduled to kick off at 12:00 p.m. EDT, 9:00 a.m. PDT. More →
Call it the DROID HD, call it the DROID RAZR, call it the Spyder or call it whatever else you want… in a few short hours we’ll be calling Motorola’s new smartphone the sleekest new Android phone on the planet. Until tonight, at least. Motorola and Verizon Wireless have teased us with a suggestive video that touts the smartphone as faster, thinner, smarter and stronger, and BGR exclusively reported key specs last week. All that’s left now is an official unveiling and a few tests to see how strong that Kevlar case really is.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins later this morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Motorola and Verizon’s press conference! Coverage starts at or around 12:00 p.m. EDT / 9:00 a.m. PDT.
The long wait for Verizon’s Motorola DROID BIONIC may soon be over. According to leaked internal documents obtained by Android Central, Verizon’s next 4G LTE flagship phone could land as soon as September 8th for $299.99. While that may sound a bit expensive, it’s in line with what Verizon charged for other 4G LTE phones such as the DROID Charge. The BIONIC was first unveiled during CES but has been delayed and placed back in the oven for last-minute tweaks. The DROID BIONIC will likely offer a 4.5-inch screen with a qHD, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video, a front facing camera for video chat and an HDMI-out port. More →
Verizon Wireless’ share of the U.S. Android market was down again in August, sinking to its lowest point since the carrier’s launch of the iPhone 4 this past March. The nation’s top carrier played a large role in popularizing Google’s mobile OS thanks to a massive $100 million marketing campaign focused on the Motorola DROID, but Apple’s smartphone has shifted demand among its subscribers. According to market research firm Chitka Insights, Verizon Wireless’ share of the Android smartphone market in the U.S. stood at 51.42% in March, the month after Apple’s CDMA iPhone 4 finally launched. Android has continued to grow explosively since then, however Verizon’s share dropped to its lowest point yet in August: 41.05%. In the same amount of time, AT&T’s share of the U.S. Android market grew 5 points to 8.47% while Sprint and T-Mobile stayed relatively flat. “While Verizon still has four of the top five Android smartphones (Droid X, HTC Droid Incredible, Samsung Fascinate, Droid), its market share is clearly down. In contrast, AT&T’s share of the Android phone market is increasing, with devices such at the HTC Inspire gaining significant popularity among smartphone users,” Chitka said on its company blog.
[Via Apple Insider]
Verizon Communications’ senior vice president and deputy general counsel John Thorne discussed Verizon’s opinion on Google’s planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “We will be looking with interest as further details of the proposed transaction become clear,” Throne said. “But, at first glance, to the extent that this deal might bring some stability to the ongoing smartphone patent disputes, that would be a welcome development.” On Monday, Google CEO Larry Page said the purchase will bolster Google’s patent portfolio and will allow the company to better “protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.” Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone, kicked off its Android offering when it announced the first Motorola DROID in October, 2009. T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have yet to voice opinions on the planned purchase, but execs from HTC, Samsung LG and Sony Ericsson all offered statements in support of the deal on Monday.
TechCrunch on Wednesday published a report claiming to reveal “Android’s dirty secret,” and quite a secret it was. According to the report, which cited a person familiar with handset sales for multiple manufacturers, between 30% and 40% of many Android handsets are returned by consumers. “Plainly put, these figures are absolutely ridiculous,” a source told BGR. We spoke to multiple well-placed sources following the publication of that story, but in reality we didn’t have to know the claim was ridiculous. If return rates were in fact “approaching 40%” as the report suggests, vendors wouldn’t just be bailing on Android, they would be going out of business. Handset returns are a huge deal in the wireless industry because every single device returned by a customer costs the manufacturer money. It also costs the carrier money in the event the device was sold through a carrier, and it costs the third-party retailer money if the device was sold through a third-party retailer. Read on to find out how many Android devices are really being returned. More →
Verizon Wireless just shot us over its latest flagship DROID handset, the Motorola DROID 3, and it’s pretty intense. Specs-wise, it features a whopping 4-inch qHD display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, a fully redesigned slide-out QWERTY keyboard, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, global roaming capabilities, and it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The device is thicker and heavier than we’d imagined, but that’s not to say it’s too chunky. It’s actually thinner than the DROID 2 and even the original DROID, though the bigger display certainly makes the overall footprint feel very large. Motorola’s qHD displays are PenTile displays, and unfortunately they all look pretty pixelated. Despite all those pixels, the DROID 3’s display is no exception, though it most likely won’t matter for the majority of consumers. The phone feels nice and solid, and the keyboard is incredibly spacious. In fact, the DROID 3 easily sports the best QWERTY of any of Verizon’s Android devices. Check out photos of the Motorola DROID 3 in our gallery below, and be on the look out for our full review soon!
Without as much as a peep from Verizon Wireless’ PR team, the nation’s top carrier on Thursday made the latest addition to its DROID line of smartphones available for purchase. Perhaps the silence is payback since Motorola announced the device last month in China before Verizon’s unveiling, which has historically preceded international versions of the phone. As we’ve known for quite some time, the Motorola DROID 3 features a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 4-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels) touchscreen display, a full slide-out QWERTY keypad, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture support, 16GB of storage and global roaming support, all atop Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. The phone is available from Verizon Wireless immediately for $199.99 on contract, and you’ll have to choose one of the carrier’s new tiered data plans along with it if you’re a new customer.
UPDATE: VZW finally decided to make the DROID 3 — you know, its brand new flagship Android smartphone — official. The carrier’s full press release can now be found after the break. Of note, the phone is available immediately online but won’t be in stores until July 14th. More →
The launch of Motorola’ DROID Bionic has become somewhat of an urban legend. Motorola announced the phone during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and then delayed it until this “summer” while the phone manufacturer redesigned it. Motorola confirmed that it was still on schedule to ship during the warmer months, but we still had not heard any word on when… until now. Thisismynext has obtained the above screenshot that proclaims the phone is “coming soon” to Best Buy retail stores. It’s unclear how soon it will be until Verizon Wireless announces an official launch date, but typically we’ve seen phones make their way into consumer’s hands not long after these kind of leaks. If you’ve been holding out for Verizon’s fourth 4G LTE phone — and the first from Motorola — then your wait may soon be over. More →
Verizon Wireless has stated on multiple occasions that it will move to usage-based smartphone data plans next month, but the carrier has been tight lipped when it comes to sharing the details surrounding the new plans. Following a report on Monday that claimed to detail Verizon Wireless’ upcoming tiered plans, they have now been reaffirmed by a new leak. Android Central claims to have received internal documents showcasing the changes, and pricing lines up exactly with earlier reports:
- 2GB – $30/month
- 4GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $50/month
- 5GB – $50/month
- 7GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $70/month
- 10GB – $80/month
- 12GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $100/month
The new documents also confirm that existing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans will be able to keep those plans after the changeover date, which is said to be July 7th. Hit the break for an email on the new plans reportedly sent by Verizon Wireless to retail partners. More →
Smartphone sales will continue to surge in 2011 and through 2012, but RIM and Motorola won’t reap the benefits according to Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha. Apple, Samsung and HTC will be the big winners as global smartphone sales grow by a whopping 62% in 2011 to 482 million units. In 2012, Garcha sees the market growing 36% further to 656 million units. Despite the impending boom, the analyst cut his rating on RIM from Neutral from Outperform, and he sliced his target on shares of RIM stock from $70 to $30. Motorola faired even worse in Garcha’s note as he cut his rating from Outperform to Underperform and lowered his target from $31 to $19. Why do Apple, Samsung and HTC stand to be the big winners over the next 18 months? According to Garcha, they come out on top when measured by the analyst’s nine key metrics: software, services, cloud, product, brand, distribution, tablet convergence, IPR, and chipset efficiency. More →