So let’s paint a picture of a fantasy world. There’s this hot product that have a lot of folks abuzz and excited about. The product can be had by any company with no licensing costs and will certainly garner your company loads of media attention and likely success. Your company is also losing money and in dire need for a breath of fresh air—in short, you need this product. You definitely launch the product, right?

Well, if your company is Sony, Motorola, or Sprint and the product is Android, then the answer is no. Even though their companies aren’t doing so hot (and in some cases bleeding money) they’ve yet to launch an Android phone to the market or even bothered with a product announcement. It really breaks common logic.

Sprint might be the biggest offender of them all. Even though they launched the hotly anticipated Palm Pre this past quarter, they still managed to post $384 million dollars in losses and lost 257,000 subscribers. Could one HTC Hero come to the rescue for Sprint?

Motorola, though they beat analyst estimates, still only managed to sell around half the handsets they sold the same period last year. Motorola Calgary, Ironman, Sholes, or Morrison to the rescue?

Sony’s bad financial quarter ($400 million loss) can be summed up in other markets—they’re so large a company it’s borderline ridiculous—but Sony Ericsson could definitely use a jolt in the excitement department. The ‘Rachael’ would definitely do the trick.

Though we don’t claim to be financial experts (does it even matter these days?) we think that launching an Android phone would certainly do more help to their portfolio than harm. The phones rumored to show up by these companies are the most exciting phones that Android has in the pipeline, why not make it priority number one?

What do you guys think? 


Reader comments

Sprint, Sony, & Motorola Post Bad Financial Numbers, Could Use Android


the pre numbers are not in this quarter . june 6th release and the quarter ended at the end of june. i will leave tmobile when SPRINT gets andriod. Teen Mobile SUCKS

I've said it many a time on here, but I am so excited for the Rachel that I hope it doesn't release on another carrier so I don't have to spend money changing contracts. Sure T-Mobile's coverage isn't great where I live, but its a well enough company, and I'd hate to have to leave just for a phone. The point though is that I agree a lot of these phones look pretty stellar, and I can only imagine they'd help their respective companies cut down their quarterly losses.

I think you have no clue how long it takes to get a product like this to market. And I think Moto, Sony etc. are well aware of the kinds of products they need to launch -- which is why they are working on it as fast as they can.

Look guys..

Sprint is getting the Samsung Q android phone and the HTC Hero android phone on 10/11. Head over to phonedog and see for yourself.

I think the idea that an open source device OS equates to a low cost DEVICE is a failed assumption. At least, reading the article above makes me think that's the author's intent: "The product can be had by any company with no licensing costs".

While yes an open source OS lead to a lower cost device is possibly true, but realize the OS is just one part - one SMALL part - of the overall cost to build a device. The hardware is the largest part of any device's total loaded cost - for example, I've heard that MSFT charges something like $7 for each WM license to its OEMs. Yes giving back $7 to the bill of materials will bring the consumer cost down somewhat, but that paltry amount alone is not going to save a company or contribute significantly to the profitability of a product.

Let's look at each company mentioned, and assess what role Android might play as a savior:

Sprint - going down fast. Losing customers rapidly. Can one OS really make things substantially different for them? Are they in a position to pick up another product line and really put any marketing muscle behind it, to make it successful? (They're probably about to run out of money even with their current product lineup of Pre, RIM, some random WM phones, and tons of Samsung/Sanyo, etc - not much left over for anything new).

Sony/Ericsson - maybe but do they really want to play in the higher end device area where Android is going, against Apple, NOK, RIM, etc? SE seems really focused on the mass market around the world - tons of phones - millions of 'em. I don't know that Android has a role with SE.

MOTO - probably the most likely role for Android between all three of the companies mentioned. They've stated their plans and we'll see what happens. But - like Sprint, MOTO has so many holes to fill across their entire company, it's unlikely that one open OS can save them.

We shall see...

I agree with most of what JohnnyMac says. Where we part is:

"Can one OS really make things substantially different for them?"

iPhone was/is a major player in AT&T's bottom line. Is Android on any proposed device going to help Sprint come close to that? With SE's Rachel and its slamming UI, I think it could. But JohnnyMac is right; too many variables to predict with certainty.

"Sony/Ericsson - maybe but do they really want to play in the higher end device area where Android is going, against Apple, NOK, RIM, etc?"

The colossal failure the Xperia X1 is that they're still holding onto shows how committed they are to the high-end market. They even launched an X1 widget contest (sort of like the Android Market developers challenge). It's really expensive and runs outdated Windows Mobile 6.1. They may only save $7 but imagine if they could make a phone with the iPhone OS and save $7 in the process? That's what they're looking at with Android. Clearly a hot, steadily improving OS that's cheaper to license is better than sticking with a petrifying rock that costs more. Not to mention, $7 becomes a lot of money when you ship half a million units or more.

MOTO - they just need their heads examined.

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