Motorola Droid Bionic Improvements Delay Launch

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Motorola’s summary decision to add features to the Droid Bionic smartphone delays launch

Motorola Mobility April 19 confirmed it is delaying the launch of its Droid Bionic 4G smartphone until this summer so it can improve the device’s hardware and software.

Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the Droid Bionic was to be Motorola’s fastest Android 2.2 smartphone to date, powered by a sports a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and fuelled by Verizon Wireless’s 4G LTE network.

Pause For Thought Following CES Feedback

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said the phone would launch in the second quarter but Motorola told eWEEK it was delaying the device to make some changes that will push it to late June at least.

“Based on compelling feedback since the show, we are incorporating several enhancements to make this an even better consumer experience,” Motorola said in a statement. “This includes expanded features, functionality and an improved form factor.”

The Droid Bionic that eWEEK saw at CES sported a 4.3-inch quarter-high-definition screen and an 8MP camera, as well as HDMI connectivity to let users hook up their video and games to large-screen HD televisions in full 1080p.

While its fanciful to claim there is always room for improvement, it is hard to imagine what improvements Motorola will make on a device that was clearly speedy in limited testing, sported a crisp, clear screen and an iPhone-like feel in the hand.

Possibly, HTC’s Thunderbolt, Verizon’s first 4G phone that launched March 17 to accolades, gave Motorola some pause, or perhaps the Droid Bionic was too similar to the existing Motorola Atrix 4G on AT&T, which also runs Android 2.2 and offers a qHD screen.

Perhaps Motorola plans to include a near field communications chip and will run the Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system instead of Android 2.2, which will be more than year old once the Droid Bionic lands.

It could be that Motorola’s skittishness back to the workshop table is predicated on the rumoured iPhone 5, which is expected to built to accommodate Apple’s new cloud computing software and applications.

Depending on what rumour one chooses to believe, the iPhone 5 is coming out in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference or in the fall in time for the holiday season. Others believe Apple should wait until 2012 to release the iPhone 5.

Whatever the reason for augmenting the device, Motorola is confident it will be a winner as 4G devices go.

“We believe the Droid Bionic will have those same award winning features [as previous Droid phones] and will be one of the best 4G LTE devices on the market,” Motorola added.

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