Could Moto Mess Up the Cliq?

8:15 PM -- At first glance, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) seems to have gotten a lot of things right with its first Android phone, the Cliq, which will debut on the T-Mobile US Inc. network in time for the holiday buying season. (See Motorola: My First Android.)

The phone's software will pull together multiple social-networking apps in a graphical "skin" and allow the user to view updates and post one status to multiple sites. Although it mostly appears to be aimed at a younger crowd, the phone will also synchronize with Exchange servers making business email easier.

Under the hood, it has support for multiple flavors of GSM-based 3G and WiFi, including High-Speed Packet Access 7.2. T-Mobile hasn't even revealed its roadmap for the 7.2 Mbit/s standard yet.

There are three main things that could go wrong as far as I can see:

  1. The device needs to be $200 or thereabouts to compete with other Android offerings. Much higher, and it probably won't sell.
  2. The "Motoblur" social-networking software skin needs to run well and fast. No point building all this integration in if it makes the machine hang.
  3. The applications processor on the machine needs to be good and speedy. (See The Power Behind the Palm Pre for more tech talk on this topic.)

With those provisos taken into consideration, the Cliq looks like it could actually be something like a winner for Moto. I should know more soon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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