Droid: Challenger to the iPhone?

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG245 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Brand Management / Marketing Communications / Positioning
Case Length : 30 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Motorola Inc. / Verizon Wireless
Industry : Consumer Electronics
Countries : US


In late-2009, US-based telecommunications company, Motorola Inc. (Motorola) and US-based mobile telecommunications network operator, Verizon Wireless (Verizon) unveiled a smart phone branded as 'Droid' in the US. Droid was launched at a time when Motorola was experiencing disappointing sales and was planning to spin off its mobile phone division. Motorola planned to arrest the decline in sales with the launch of the Droid. Powered by Google's Android 2.0 operating system, Droid was pitched against consumer electronics major Apple Inc's iPhone. Droid was promoted heavily using Verizon's marketing muscle. Verizon and Motorola had launched a US$ 100 million marketing campaign called 'iDon't' to promote Droid.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Some experts felt that the unique features of Droid could challenge iPhone. On the other hand, some analysts felt that Motorola had a long way to go to emerge as a challenger to iPhone created a strong position for itself in the lucrative smart phone market. The Droid was largely well-received and to some extent had revived Motorola's financial position. However, marketing experts were sharply divided on the positioning strategy adopted by Motorola and Verizon for droid. In view of its success, Motorola planned to revive its mobile phone division and planned to launch Droid in India, China, Japan, and Europe in 2010. The company also planned to launch Android-powered phones in low-end as well as smart phone versions.


Analyze Motorola and Verizon's marketing strategy to launch Droid in the lucrative smart phone market.

Analyze the marketing campaign launched by Motorola and Verizon to promote Droid.

Understand and analyze the positioning strategy adopted by Motorola and Verizon for Droid.

Discuss and debate whether the Droid was an able challenger to the iPhone.

Explore ways in which the campaign could be made more effective and how the product should be marketed in other international markets.


  Page No.
Motorola's 'Smart' Success 1
Background Note 3
Reviving Motorola's Fortunes 5
Creating the Initial Buzz 7
The Droid Launch 9
Marketing the Droid 10
The Results 11
Is the Droid an iPhone Killer? 14
Response from the Competitors 16
Outlook 17
Exhibits 20


Positioning, Positioning strategy, Market challenger, Competition, Branding, iDon't marketing campaign, Smart phone market, Motorola, Verizon, Google, Android, Apple, iPhone, Research in Motion, BlackBerry, Nexus One, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson

Motorola's 'Smart' Success - Next Page>>

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