According to the WSJ we'll see two new Motorola Android devices from T-Mobile and Verizon this year. Both will have slide-out keyboards. Beyond the keyboards they'll attempt to differentiate with social networking software pre-loaded. According to the WSJ:
The software, built on Android, will emphasize "social communications" services, a person familiar with the device said. The phone will have a range of built-in social-networking software from popular providers such as Facebook and Twitter, the person added.
What that means precisely remains to be seen. How will it be different than apps for example? T-Mobile is about to release the myTouch 3G with a Samsung Android phone ("Bigfoot") to follow. So T-Mobile by the end of the year should have three Android devices -- if these Motorola phones reach the market.
The WSJ piece also argues: "The biggest advances in smart-phone development in recent years have come not in hardware but in software that makes phones simpler to use." But once we have "18 Android devices" in the market, all with software and user experiences that are nearly identical, it will likely fall back to pricing and/or hardware to be the differentiators.
Related: Sprint releases two "social networking" phones -- Samsung Exclaim ($79.99) and HTC Snap ($149). The company is also making a bigger effort to market and do CRM through social media, including Twitter.
These two phones have tiles or other pre-installed social networking software on the handsets. The combination of this sort of positioning and lower price points could make such phones popular with those looking to save money vs. more expensive and higher-end phones (such as BlackBerry or the Pre).