Word has it that the Motorola Backflip will be available on Sunday at a price of $99.99 on contract. With so many other phones on the market, and such a diverse plethora to choose from, what differentiates this one? Quite simple really. It will be the only phone currently available to AT&T customers with Android, and to be more specific, the only subsidized phone with 3G banding on the nation’s second largest carrier. Add to that the first truly unique form factor in quite a while and the MotoBlur (social networking extravaganza) service built in, and it becomes a compelling choice.
Does this mean that it is enough to pry you away from your iPhone? Probably not, in my opinion. In my personal opinion, this phone is designed and marketed directly towards those of you rockin’ Xenon’s, Vu’s, or even Impression’s, whose upgrades are just now coming to fruition. Sure, the Backflip will surely lure in some new customers just because of it’s form factor and Android, but at the same time, this device will work just like the iPhone did in converting non-smartphone users over.
At the $99.99 price, the choices are aplenty when looking at all carriers. However, with AT&T, I think the decision will be tough for a lot of parents whose teenager is ready for an upgrade. It looks like a messaging phone. It’s name kind of sounds like a messaging phone. The question is, will they be ready to fork over the extra $20-30 every month for their kids who are ready for a new phone? From what I have heard and read, the iPhone’s data plan carries a certain weight with parents. Blackberry devices, to many people, are not suitable for a teenager, as they are for, you know, people getting a thousand emails every hour who wear business suits. I have a feeling that many teens will be doing their best to convince their parents that it is worth it, or they will pay for it themselves. Time will tell.
The form factor is quite cool, I must say. Having had experience with the Motorola Cliq, I am very much looking forward to seeing a Backflip in person. While the keyboard on the Cliq is okay, the extra room afforded by removing the d-pad and placing the optical pad on the back of the touchscreen (what did I just write? confused? check out Noah’s video on phonedog.com) is fascinating to me. I have heard concerns from some in the media that the “exposed” keyboard is only asking for trouble, but all Blackberry devices with keyboards have them sitting out in the open for the world to see (as well as every candybar phone-first device ever made). For me, I’m liking the idea of not having a sliding mechanism to potentially fail.
So what say you? If you are a current iPhone user on AT&T, do you have any interest? Are you holding out for the iPhone 4G or are you glad that AT&T has finally jumped on the Android train?