Motorola gets behind Android

After a dismal Q1 report, the cell phone manufacturer has announced plans for several handsets running Google's mobile OS

When Motorola announced back in February that it would be producing fewer handsets and focusing on the Android OS, it sounded like a decent enough plan to put quality over quantity. Multiple handsets, across multiple carriers, should be out in time for the holiday season. Photos and details of two of the handsets have already been leaked and spread liberally around the Web like butter on toast.

The first said to be up for release is the Calgary, a landscape-sliding QWERTY handset that should be available to Verizon customers. Its saving grace may be that it has a distinctly different design than the Magic or the G1, along with possible customizations in the UI.

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The second handset, the Ironman (really, guys?) is a portrait-slider with a QWERTY keyboard; BGR is reporting it will be flush with features such as Wi-Fi, 3G, high-res camera, and so on. Not a wealth of confirmed information but it does appear that Motorola is out of hiatus and ready to play ball again. However, the holiday season is not exactly around the corner -- will consumers wait for Motorola handsets or will they be swayed by releases from HTC, Acer, or Samsung?

Samsung's i7500 is already producing "ooh"s and "aah"s across the Web, and HTC has the experience of the G1 and the Magic going for it. Motorola's other handset releases this year haven't done much to improve the image of the brand -- the Motorola iDEN was received with cries of disgust, and the W7 had Engadget losing faith. Motorola has said that it plans to use Android to create a strong hardware and software integration for an improved social networking experience. That's nice and all, but is it enough for mobile users who increasingly expect more out of their handsets? I suppose I'll just have to wait and see what Santa brings me...

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.