Cliq or Dext? Whatever you call it, Motorola’s big play
Motorola launched its Hail Mary pass in the smartphone market and it goes by the name of Cliq, or Dext, depending on where you live. One would assume plenty of branding research went into the names (Cliq in the U.S. and Dext elsewhere), as this is the company that created such easy-to-remember names as Razr, Rokr and Rizr.
Motorola, once a cellphone leader producing iconic products, has fallen well behind the competition as the smartphone market continues to sizzle and consumers flock to devices like the iPhone (which, incidentally, goes by the name “iPhone” everywhere it sells).
With so many new smartphones coming to the market, analysts say the key to success is differentiation — which is often a software issue rather than a hardware one. Motorola hopes its MOTOBLUR software, based on Google’s Android platform, will help it carve out a niche.
The company calls the Cliq/Dext “the first phone with social skills.” It says MOTOBLUR integrates contacts, emails, texts, postings, photos and the like from sources like Facebook, Twitter and Gmail and makes them easier to manage.
Motorola has put all its eggs in Android’s basket, reorganizing its handset unit around the platform, but it faces quite a challenge. Many of its rivals have already integrated social-networking function into their phones.
“Not only do you have to design and build interesting phones and get them into carriers, but also can you make money on it?” said Macquarie Research analyst Phil Cusick. “The smartphone landscape is exploding and there is tons of opportunity here for somebody who can build a great device, but you also have a ton of competition. Not only the traditional smartphone guys like Apple, Palm, and HTC, but LG and Samsung – who are phenomenal executors – getting into the smartphone space as well with Android.”