Motorola Droid Nears UK Release

Mobility

Motorola’s Droid handset, or Milestone for us Europeans, is to be launched on Monday, but so far no major UK operator has signed up for the device

Motorola’s Droid mobile phone is just days away from a UK launch, but so far no major UK mobile operators have elected to carry the handset.

Motorola’s Droid (or Milestone as it is called on this side of the pond), has earned some rave reviews, and is being touted as a potential iPhone killer.

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The device comes with a 3.7-inch, 854×480 pixel display, as well as a sliding Qwerty keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, Wi-Fi and A-GPS. However one of its most notable features is that it will be the only device that features Google’s mobile operating system, Android 2.0.

However there are some questions marks over its UK launch. In the United States the smartphone is carried by one of the largest US mobile operators, Verizon, which it has already sold more than 800,000 handsets since it went on sale on 6 November. In Europe the handset is available in Germany via O2.

But UK customers will only be able to buy an unsubsidised handset through the online retailer Expansys from Monday 7 December, as so far no UK mobile operator has confirmed it will carry the device.

The Milestone will cost £449.99, and should work on any SIM card from any network operator. There is a link to T-Mobile UK on the Expansys site, but a T-Mobile UK spokesman told eWEEK Europe that it had no plans to carry the device. Vodafone issued the same response.

“Regarding the Droid, it was a device we looked at, and it was felt on this occasion we are not going to take it onto the Vodafone network,” said a Vodafone spokesman. “There were commercial reasons that we are unable to discuss with you, but we look at all smartphones and phones and make the decision on what we think is best for our customers.”

eWEEK Europe was unable reach Motorola UK, but it seems that Motorola’s decision not to give any operator an exclusivity period for the handset, may have counted against it.

With the mobile market now in recovery mode, this phone is hugely important for Motorola’s handset division, which is still facing question marks over its future after it struggled to find a worthy successor to its ultraslim Razr phones.

Author: Tom Jowitt
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