Motorola, which is recruiting as many as 350 people to work on Android phones, is gearing up to make its first one:the Android Social Smart Phone. Last week, Android Guys spotted a job posting for the project, and now BusinessWeek has more details, including a mention of the Motorola job posting pictured at left on Monster looking for an Android application developer. If the people pictured in the ad to represent Motorola employees are any indication, embarrassing dance moves are a plus, but not required.
According to BusinessWeek, Motorola is putting $50 million into its Android project, which is being run by a team from Good Technology, a mobile e-mail company that Motorola bought in 2006. The first phone won’t come out until the second quarter of next year, it will have a touch screen like the iPhone and a slide-out keyboard like the HTC T-Mobile G1 launching on Wednesday, but will look more like the Motorola Krave. It is also expected to be cheaper than the G1’s $180 price.
But how will it tie into existing social networks? Already, the G1 imports your contacts from Gmail into the phone. It wouldn’t be too hard for the Motorola Android to import your friends’ list from Facebook or MySpace directly into the phone’s address book, and let you IM them and see their status updates and activity streams on your phone. Kind of like the Facebook app on the iPhone lets you do already, except that you wouldn’t necessarily need to launch a separate app.
Is the idea of a Facebook phone or a MySpace phone interesting enough in and of itself for people to want to buy it? And, more importantly, can Android save Motorola?