New Motorola Phone a Branding Blur

Today at the Mobilize conference Motorola announced it's long-awaited first Android phone the "CLIQ" (from T-Mobile) with "Motoblur." For about 10 minutes it wasn't clear what the phone was called. It seemed like it was called the "Motoblur" but then T-Mobile took the stage and called it the CLIQ. It's officially called "Motorola CLIQ With MOTOBLUR." 

This is some of the most confused branding in recent memory. To compound matters it's being called DEXT with MOTORBLUR in the UK and Europe. Putting all that aside, the phone is interesting for a few reasons:

  • It's another example of software customization on top of Android: the social network widget interface/integration. HTC's Sense interface is another example of this. We should continue to see the evolution of more layers between the basic Android experience and some unique software or interface elements, as Android OEMs trying to differentiate from one another. 
  • The hardware looks almost exactly like the MyTouch3G (though there's a slide out QWERTY keyboard). It will potentially be challenging for consumers to differentiate accordingly. Motorola is counting on the social software/networking utility to be the differentiator. But that's probably not going to matter as much as price to consumers. Hypothetically, if the CLIQ is $199 and the MyTouch is, say, $150, the MyTouch is likely to win. 

The "MOTOBLUR" social software (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter) is the type of thing that carriers arguably should be doing (i.e., customizable home screen) to remain relevant to end users. Instead, they're building apps stores, which in my mind face very mixed prospects.

Here's video of the new handset in action. And here's a flash simulator.