A Blackberry-Like Android: Motorola’s New Charm ;).
Android phones have established themselves as direct competitors to the iPhone. Their big touchscreens cover the entire device, and when they have QWERTY keyboard, they’re hidden under sliding panels. Motorola is changing this trend with the Charm, a new Android 2.1-powered phone that takes more design cues from the Blackberry than the iPhone.
The Charm has a comparatively meager 2.8-inch touchscreen positioned above a QWERTY keyboard, and the flip-side of the phone features the same back-mounted touchpad found on the Motorola Backflip. While the design is similar to the Blackberry, the Charm’s more direct competitor is Microsoft’s Kin phones. Motorola’s Motoblur feature integrates various social networking sites into the phone, and the device’s round, glossy look is more in line with Facebook than checking work emails.
In chasing the growing trend of social network phones, Motorola may be pushing Android into a new role.
It’s been the foremost iPhone competitor for some time, but now it looks like the mobile OS could power a generation of social phone and Blackberry competitors. However, the shift to a landscape-oriented screen above a physical keyboard could generate a schism in Android apps. The different control layouts of the Charm and more conventional, portrait-screened Android phones will have to be taken as considerations for future app developers. From the iPhone to the iPad, iOS devices all have the same control scheme and screen layouts. Shaking this up for Android with the Charm could change how new, social network-minded Android apps get developed.
Who said? Motorola said ;).