WSJ: Verizon pledges to promote new Motorola smartphones

Motorola signs deal with Verizon Wireless to ensure that its upcoming smartphones receive a heavy marketing push from the carrier, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Motorola is counting on Verizon to use its marketing prowess to help the handset maker stage a smartphone recovery, and the wireless carrier has promised to do just that, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Motorola's Droid
Motorola's Droid James Martin/CNET

Motorola has worked out a deal with Verizon Wireless to make sure some of its new smartphones for Verizon will get a heavy promotion by the carrier, says the Journal.

As Motorola has struggled to turn a profit, its co-CEO Sanjay Jha has bet the farm on Verizon Wireless and the Droid to help turn the tide of its sluggish handset business. But the Android OS is owned by Google and the Droid name by Verizon, leaving Motorola in a weaker position to promote the products.

Verizon Wireless spent $100 million advertising the Droid for Motorola, according to the Journal, a key factor that kicked up Motorola's earnings during the first quarter. But to manufacture its new Droid Incredible, Verizon picked a different partner, namely HTC.

Fielding questions at a Barclays Capital press conference on Thursday, Jha said that Motorola will launch new Droid smartphones to be sold by Verizon Wireless and expressed confidence about his company's relationship with the carrier.

"I think we are very well-positioned," said Jha. "I think we will participate in the Droid franchise well. We will introduce new Droid products in the Verizon franchise."

Following a string of losses, Motorola has been able to turn a profit the past few quarters. But the company still faces a challenging road ahead. Despite strong sales of the Droid, overall smartphone revenue is way down from Motorola's peak a few years ago when its Razr phone flew off the shelves.

Hoping to rejuvenate its smartphone trade, Motorola is also due to split itself into two separate businesses early next year--one to focus on the mobile phone business led by Jha, the other to concentrate on enterprise products run by co-CEO Greg Brown.