At today’s Motorola keynote, one detail caught my attention. Motorola understands that developers and power users want to tweak and modify their phones. They get that, and that’s great. So they said developer editions of phones will be coming. That sounds great and all, but what are the implications?
First of all, we have no word on when the developer editions will come out. Three new phones were announced, but their dev counterparts have no release date or even a word on which phones will be released to developers. If the phones are significantly late, what’s the point? Devs want the best and the newest, so they’ll just move onto something better when a developer edition Motorola is released.
What about people who aren’t developers but just power users? They don’t always have a lot of money to spend. Will these developer phones be released with contract subsidization? They never were before, looking at the RAZR Dev edition and the Verizon Galaxy S III dev edition. So they’re useless to power users unless they have well over $600 to blow on a new phone. This could pose many problems. Let’s hope Motorola pulls off this plan well, because there are so many ways this could go wrong.
Update: So the DROID RAZR M Developer Edition is up for pre-order. My point that it’ll take too long is currently invalid, as it’s launching only 8 days after the regular edition of the RAZR M. However, my pricing point stands. The mid-end RAZR M Developer Edition comes with an unlockable bootloader, and a voided warranty once you do. It’ll also cost you $550, making it inaccessible to a majority of power users and even small time developers. Why would they get a RAZR M Dev edition for $550 when they can get a Galaxy S III on any carrier but Verizon for $200 on contract and develop for that?
The DROID RAZR HD Developer Edition is not up for pre-order yet, but it is up on the site. Hit that link to register for more updates. But yes, Motorola basically screwed over a majority of the power users and tinkerers out there. It’s too bad, there was potential.