Motorola Droid Bionic Delay Issue: Is It a Bad Sign for Motorola?

We know that many of you are waiting for the release of the Motorola Droid Bionic and were disappointed at the setbacks that have led to a relay in release. We wonder though if the delay of this Android smartphone does not just bring concern over this particular handset but is a bad sign for Motorola generally.

We’ve written many posts on the Motorola Droid Bionic, a 4G phone for the Verizon 4G LTE network with a 1GHz dual-core processor and 4.3-inch display. We were hugely impressed with the Bionic, which we were hoping to have seen released by now and a few weeks ago told of rumors that it may have been cancelled, to be replaced with the Motorola Targa instead. Following that we had news that it would still be released at some point in the summer but the delay was because Motorola wanted to make some enhancements to make the phone an “even better consumer experience.

We then told more about these enhancements along with the news that it could still be re-named the Targa and then rounded up the speculation about the various reasons for the delay. An article over on eWeek by Clint Boulton has caught our attention as it questions whether the delay of the Droid Bionic and also the disappointing sales of the Motorola Xoom tablet, indicate that Motorola is having more widespread problems. Although Motorola sales rose by 22% in the first quarter of 2011 the much talked about Motorola Xoom has failed to live up to its hype. Reviews of this tablet, as we indicated at the time, pointed out that many felt it had potential but seemed unfinished. As the Droid Bionic has now been delayed it points to the fact that Motorola are possibly rushing their products out to be first, instead of taking the time to get them exactly right.

If Motorola had taken the time to get the Xoom right instead of rushing it out in competition for the iPad 2 they may have hit a niche in the market. This has been said about other Android tablets too as none have set the world on fire in comparison to the iPad. The fact that Motorola felt they needed more time to refresh the hardware and software of the Droid Bionic before it had even been released suggests they shouldn’t have announced it so soon and should have spent more time getting it right before they introduced it. Leaving it so long between the introduction of the device and the release meant it was out-of-date before it was even released.

EWeek also points out that the introduction of the Apple iPhone on Verizon and its subsequent success took Motorola aback somewhat and made the company realize it was competing not just with other Androids from Samsung and HTC but also Apple. Ken Dulaney, an analyst from Gartner, said, “Motorola may have missed the demand for 4G and if you look at their software add-ons to Android they pale in comparison to HTC and Samsung. They have tiny icons and a battle ship grey background. They need to understand the presentation of their products in the store. Or they will lose sales.”

The lack of the Motorola Droid Bionic will mean that second quarter figures will be particularly interesting and will be a better reflection of how well Motorola is really doing, or if it is struggling. For more information on this setback for Motorola check out an article over on Trefis which looks more closely at Motorola’s declining market share. Are you waiting hopefully for the release of the Motorola Droid Bionic and do you think the company has done the right thing to delay its release to perfect it? We’d be interested to know your thoughts so let us have your comments please.

  • Airlag

    What it really means is for those of us that are wanting the Bionic, we just have to wait. I would not assume any problems with Motorola and honestly I'm sick of speculating articles like this.

    What is means is they delayed the product because they felt a need to refine it. If I personally was to speculate, they probably saw the piss poor battery life of the Thunderbolt and thought "we can't allow the good name of Motorola to be tarnished with a device with poor battery life". This makes sense because several customers (such as myself) have returned their Thunderbolts and reverted to our older Android devices to wait for a better device.

    Oh and speaking of companies rushing out devices for 'me first me first' HTC and the Thunderbolt are a great example.

    • Guest

      I think it's the Battery Not the Phone.

  • Bionic

    Seriously, the speculation listed in this and in similar articles are shoddy at best. I've not used the Xoom, but if there are problems with the device, then it makes sense that Motorola would be pleasantly scrupulous with the release of their flagship Verizon 4GLTE phone. To me, the fact that Motorola delayed the phone to further tweak/develop as opposed to rushing it to market, gives me even more confidence that they are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that they are releasing the best possible product. I am patiently waiting for the Bionic, and when it is finally released, I would wager dollars to donuts that it will be THE phone that all other phones are compared to (at least for this year.)

  • Guest

    I am Ready to Upgrade the Day Bionic is Released (I have a Droid X and want the faster processor).
    When is the Real Release Date (I Read the Phone was Debuting in April, then May-June and Now….who Knows)

  • Guest

    Seriously? This article criticizes Motorola in one paragraph for delaying the Bionic, then in the next paragraph criticizes Motorola for rushing the Xoom out. Perhaps they are delaying the Bionic because they learned the lesson from the Xoom? The lesson that they shouldn't try to rush a product out to market unless they are absolutely sure it is ready to compete?

  • droidian

    I think Verizon has more to do with the delay than motorolla. Verizon probably wants to wait to unroll their tiered data plan before they offer up a dual core phone with 4g that could eat up massive amounts of data.