Motorola now exclusive Droid partner to Verizon

There won't be any other smartphone manufacturers making Droid phones. Verizon has locked Motorola in an exclusive relationship.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
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Verizon Wireless and Motorola are getting exclusive with their relationship.

Starting with the Droid Ultra lineup, Motorola will be the only smartphone manufacturer to build Droid smartphones, Verizon marketing executive Jeff Dietel told CNET on Tuesday.

Verizon and Motorola unveiled the Droid Ultra family of products, including the Droid Ultra itself, the Droid Ultra Maxx, and the Droid Ultra Mini.

The partnership locks up a prime flagship slot for Motorola, which is badly in need of hit smartphones to turn itself around. While many vendors are opting to release their phones on multiple carriers, exclusives are seen as valuable because they guarantee a certain amount of marketing heft by the carrier.

"There are millions of users that are happy with it and loyal to the Droid brand," said Rick Osterloh, head of product management for Motorola. "Droid is a formula that works very well."

Dietel said the Droid Ultra lineup would remain Verizon's flagship smartphone for a while, and promised a longer shelf life for the products than past "hero" products.

"They need to stand for something to customers," Dietel said.

Verizon has long had a cozy relationship with Motorola -- the two teamed up to sell the original Droid smartphone, a blockbuster hit that helped push Android into the mainstream.

But other vendors have employed the name Droid, which is a Verizon franchise. Last year, following the debut of the Droid Razr family of phones, HTC released the Droid DNA, Verizon's holiday flagship phones.

The three different devices, which come out simultaneously on August 20, give Verizon a lot to talk about, Dietel said. He added that he recognized the quick pace of device launches and worked closely with Motorola to ensure the longevity of the device.