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Droid X, Slowing Down or Boosting Motorola?

In his research note, McKechnie said Motorola will likely increase its Android phone sales targets for 2010 by as much as 14 million units thanks to the momentum of Droid X and its other Android-based units.

In the current flurry of smartphone introductions, it's rare that a cellphone launch is as closely observed as that of the Droid X. Analysts have been intently monitoring sales of Motorola's latest gadget since its July 15 debut to assess the company's ongoing turnaround. McKechnie said in a research note this morning that he went around checking late last week and over the weekend, and found “no supply available at retail as all production is still going to fill ‘pre-order’ backlog. Droid X certainly isn't the only hot summer smartphone in short supply. Apple pushed back ship dates on iPhone 4 several times, and the HTC EVO 4G -- a Sprint phone claiming the crown as the country's first 4G-ready smartphone -- has also seen a number of delays since its June launch.

” Meanwhile Droid X vs iPhone 4 continues to be the analysts’ hot topic for discussion. Which phone is better? Whose features are better? The list is endless with the number of questions comparing the two devices. The first difference notable is the Droid X extra large display at 4.3 inches while the iPhone 4 is 3.5 inches. Experts say size does matter when viewing videos and photos. In terms of better experience while watching videos, Droid X is the winner because of its larger display, experts say. Another important difference to be considered before judging the phone is the battery life. When used as a hotspot, Droid X battery would last three to four hours so it must be in charge, when used for this purpose. Another difference is that while iPhone 4 can be used both as a phone and data service together, the same can’t be said about Droid X. With Droid X, you’ve the liberty to download anything you want. But, with iPhone, you can download those stuff that are approved by Apple.

Verizon Droid X acts as a mobile hotspot because it allows you to connect up to five compatible Wi-Fi devices to Verizon’s network. In this comparison, though iPhone 4 fails to acts as a mobile hotspot, it can be used for tethering. But, to avail these facilities on both the devices, you need to pay $20 per month subject to a 2 GB limitation. Verizon and Motorola's Droid X launch hasn't been without its headaches. Last week, some early buyers reported flickering and the appearance of vertical bands on their Droid X displays. Motorola and Verizon addressed the issue, saying that customers experiencing those problems should contact one of the two companies immediately, and indicated it affected a "very small number" of the phones.

Motorola is set to report quarterly earnings on Thursday. An average of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expects Motorola to report earnings of 8 cents per share on sales of $5.2 billion, compared to a 1 cent-per-share loss on $5.5 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Given the Droid X's late launch, analysts will be seeking information beyond its sales on Thursday's call. Co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha, who heads Motorola's handset unit, will likely be asked about other 2010 phone releases and whether he still believes his division will break even by the fourth quarter. Barclays  ( BCS -  news  -  people ) Capital analyst Jeffrey Kvaal thinks Motorola will bow eight more smartphones this year. Motorola previously said it expects to ship 12 million to 14 million smartphones in 2010. Some analysts expect the company to raise those figures or focus them on the higher end on Thursday.

Achieving break-even would be a significant milestone as Motorola's handset division has reported losses for nearly four years. It would also be a sign of readiness as Motorola prepares to split into two independent companies--one focused on consumers, the other on businesses and government agencies--by March 2011. Jha has said that Motorola aims to spin off the handset unit, which it will rename Motorola MobilityPsychology Articles, without any long-term debt.

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