Oct 14 AT 2:45 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

What happened to the Motorola Sholes and Android 2.0?

Warning: This post is filled with rumors, speculation, and under-the-table information. Read at your own risk.

The battle rages on between the number of code names and the number of leaks for Motorola’s second Android phone. If you have seen any of the rumors about the Motorola Sholes floating around the web, chances are they came from this blog. One might think we could predict when this phone would appear, but Motorola has left us absolutely clueless.

We first expected to see this phone announced back on September 10, 2009 at Mobilize 09. Motorola went on to unveil the Cliq and MotoBlur UI, but there was no mention of Sholes.

Several weeks later I received an early press document which stated the Sholes would make an official appearance on October 7, 2009 at CTIA. Google and Verizon announced they were working on Android phones, but Motorola kept its lips tight during their Motodev Summit.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam was actually pictured by the Associated Press holding the secret Motorola phone, but the photos were later removed.

The Sholes phone was demoed at CTIA behind closed doors, but once again nothing was announced.

Now that two major press events have come and gone with no official information, where does this leave the Sholes launch date? Motorola has repeatedly stated they would release a second Android phone in 2009 and even said the device was “on track” at their Motodev Summit.

Will the Sholes launch October 30, December 1, or in 2010?

The most popular rumor is still claiming that Verizon will launch the Motorola Sholes on October 30, 2009. At this point I guess anything is possible, but I am not holding my breath. If Verizon was really shipping the phone this month, why not announce it at their press conference with Google? CTIA was a huge stage for new phone announcements and Motorola decided to stay quiet for unknown reasons.

I understand some reliable tipsters are swearing by the October 30 date, but things change quickly in this industry. I had my own information saying the phone would be unveiled at CTIA and ship December 1 and that didn’t happen.

Until we see something posted on the official Motorola website, consider all release dates FUD.

Will the Sholes ship with Android 2.0?

Regular readers of the site know we have been reporting that Sholes would be the first phone with Android 2.0. The demo units that exist are running the Eclair build of Android, which is widely believed to be branded Android 2.0. However, we have learned in the past that the point releases assigned to Android builds are really just marketing speak.

At the end of the day, Google will decide if this phone gets stamped Android 2.0 or not. I’m certain Sholes will ship with Eclair and we will have to wait and see what version they call it.

Other handset makers (Samsung) told us not to expect Android 2.0 till Q2 2010, but I believe Motorola has an exclusive deal with Google. We learned at the Motodev Summit that Motorola has dedicated employees who are assigned to working with Google engineers on the next release of Android.

Will the Sholes feature MotoBlur?

All of the demo Sholes units I have seen were without MotoBlur. I asked Motorola if we should expect to see MotoBlur on all their Android phones and they said that was their intention. However, they did mention that certain carriers would be customizing the phones and we could see some devices without MotoBlur.

If you consider that this device will be the flagship phone for Android 2.0, then maybe Google and Verizon might decide to leave out MotoBlur.

What are the most likely scenarios for launching the Sholes?

Who knows what Motorola is actually planning, but I see three possible scenarios for Sholes.

  1. Motorola ships Sholes in 2009 with Android 2.0
  2. Motorola ships Sholes in 2009 without Android 2.0
  3. Motorola ships Sholes in 2010 with Android 2.0

Number 1 was our original prediction and the most likely scenario. I believe the hardware is finished and Google has the ability to use the Android 2.0 name whenever they choose.

Number 2 could happen if Google decides the software is not finished in time for the holidays. The Sholes would ship with Eclair, but lack the Android 2.0 branding. We know there are multiple versions of the Sholes (without keyboard) in the works, so Android 2.0 could be saved for a future Motorola phone.

Number 3 is the least likely to happen. Motorola told us the phone was on track and I expect to see it before the holidays.

What does the community think?

Our readers voted the Motorola Sholes as the most desired phone, but has the lack of official information changed your mind? There are multiple 1 GHz Android phones slated for the first half of 2010 which could encourage customers to hold out a little longer. We are also eagerly waiting to see if Verizon will cripple Android in any way.

Are you saving up your cash to purchase the Motorola Sholes the day it becomes available?

Are we completely missing something? Tip us on news.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • matty

    i’m seriously over this phone… i’ll hold on to my piece of crap phone a little longer and get something with some real beef… there are phones already set to come out that are faster then this… my balls have been tickled long enough with blurry photos and renders of a phone with no real info from moto… they lost two sales.. and im sure there are many more that aren’t as vocal as i have been

    • Donovan

      alot of people are upset, i am.. but they are doing it on purpose to cause more hype and discussion. Dont let this post discourage you out of getting this phone (like they said its just speculation) it will be worth the wait for 2 more weeks, from what i hear the first snapdragons wont be anything too special or much different in speed compared to this phone, keep in mind sholes has 2 different processors that total to over 1 ghz already..

  • branon

    let me guess. There is another device called storm 2 that verizon is releasing next week. Right now they do not want to dilute the attention that storm 2 will receive. So we wait for a month more for the Sholes.

    • Donovan

      alot of people make the mistake in thinking this when in fact the 2 phones are not in the same marketing category and one will not affect the other in sales because they are 2 completely different phones OS and purpose wise..

  • Amu

    It’s kinda funny how people are getting pissed at Motorola for not releasing the Sholes when in fact it has never been official and just pure speculations/rumors, in reality you guys are the ones who are stating the release dates and bringing your hopes up. For all we know they could just sell the phone right now without a press/event ever happening. Stop complaining and wait for at least the name to be official, and then complain. If you want the phone with a faster processor (snapdragon) then go ahead and wait another year, just like this one. Later on people will still complain for any little thing

    • Donovan

      @Matty

      another thing to note, it was confirmed today (unofficially) but quite obvious with this new pic of the phone..

      clearly shows the phones name as “droid” and shows firmware 2.0..

      http://twitpic.com/li49c

    • JM

      I somewhat agree with what you say here – its what happens when websites publishes too much ‘rumors’ because there is nothing absolutely concrete yet – and readers (like me) reads them. People let themselves get excited on rumors and websites like to feed them rumors sometimes based on their ‘reliable/insider sources’. In the end I just find myself wasting time reading and getting excited on speculations. My excitement has died down on Sholes and realized I’ve been letting myself get spun around by these ‘intelligent speculations’. In the end we don’t have anything concrete. I finished my 2yr contract with TMobile awhile and have been on prepay – waiting for the Sholes (or concrete rumors of Sholes) to come. Looks like I’ll just wait a little longer for the 4″ screen snapdragon devices to come – which might be 6 months after the Sholes get released (or even earlier with the HTC Leo?).

  • matty

    you think they would have learned after the original storm… good point

  • Amu

    Btw guys/gals, BGR put up a pic of the Droid (official name I guess since the device says Droid under Model Number) and it’s running Firmware 2.0 :O. Go see it and get happier
    http://twitpic.com/li49c

  • Jhalf

    Most of these questions have been answered. Pics of the phone leaked again today confirm it is running android 2.0. The road map also revealed today confirms the probability of an oct 30 launch. These questions are pointless.

    • Donovan

      i love androidandme but lately they been a downer, regardless of saying its speculation, i can except that but it makes people jump to conclusions to easy..

  • webby

    I’m curious about the sholes, and will check it out, but 1) I don’t trust Verizon, and 2) prolly will wait for a phone with Snapdragon processor and a physical keyboard before I jump from the G1 (I was an early adopter).

    • Donovan

      this phone has a physical keyboard.. dont let the snap dragon hold you back.. some developers i have talked to said it wont be anything spectacular.. and like i said, this phone has 2 processors totalling over 1 ghz already..

  • http://codeshogun.com lordhong

    i might go with Samsung Moment running 800MHz speed if Sholes is delaying forever…

    • Donovan

      stop jumping to conclusions lol.. the phone will be here 2 weeks from Friday.. i have tried to pry info from verizon reps forever now.. and they all say the same thing.. wait a couple more weeks..

  • jk

    I’m surprised Androidandme even believes this phone exists. You guys do, right?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Haha, I played with the phone at CTIA.

  • Donovan

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm thats weird, why would google plex be putting up an Eclair….. :)

    http://phandroid.com/2009/10/14/eclair-arrives-at-googleplex/

  • jasonlee

    Donovan hit it on the money, i didnt get to post that phandroid link before u did lol. Eclair has to be in final stages of completion. if the eclair at googleplex is any indication of their timetable then the oct 30 guess should be pretty close.

    I for one will get the phone regardless if it does ship with eclair. Root anyone?

  • jasonlee

    Speaking of rooting, cyanogen prob will not be supporting this phone…..lame! But i hope he will change his mind after they release it full google experiance.

  • aggiedude7
    • Donovan

      nice find

  • Amu

    Lol this phone does not have a 1GHz processor. The GPU and the CPU are two different things. That’s like saying that if you have a PC/Mac with a processor clocked at 3GHz and have SLI 1GB graphic cards = 5GHz LOLZ.

    • Donovan

      yes but still 2 processors none the less, i never said they process related things.. i know they are both their for different reasons, but non the less, snapdragon aint going to belittle the sholes enough to wait for snapdragon was my initial point..

  • Ron B

    I talked to a local Verizon store today about plans and told them that I was just waiting for the Moto Android and told them that i guess that I’ll just be waiting….she said that it might not be that long of a wait. Do local store managers actually know something also?

    • Donovan

      hell ya, some even have one in the store already according to a couple people on the HoFo forums..

      i called the 3 closest stores and either they were playing dumb or they just didnt have it.. lol

  • Amu

    “…keep in mind sholes has 2 different processors that total to over 1 ghz already”
    actually you did, don’t confuse people. The processor is the one clocked at 600mhz and the gpu at 430mhz. Although both can work together (only in graphics).

    • Donovan

      ya see.. lol i dont claim to be technical with these phones yet, or at least i didnt mean to, i basically took some phone geeks answer about this and tried to put it in my own words.. sorry for the confusion.. none the less its still not worth it to wait for the snapdragon over this phone..

  • Amu

    Keep in mind that people in the stores are clueless (unless if they’re tech geek like us who read blogs like this one), some don’t even know what os the phone runs on, or are tech savy. All they are told is the some phones have a camera, can send mms, can send emails, has Internet (don’t even know what browser it uses), etc… They just know that they have to sell the phone. I remember I went to a t-mobile store when the G1 came out. The rep was telling a customer about the G1 being the first Android phone, that it had a touch screen and a keyboard, which was pretty much it. The customer asked questions about if the screen was capacitive or resistive, and that’s where the rep got stuck. Thanks to me I gave the customer complete details about the phone and sold it :] even though I didn’t work there. The rep didn’t even know that the phone had the marketplace lol. Good think he thanked me. He later told me that he didn’t know anything about the phone/Android.

  • Amu

    @Donovan: haha I understand you not being tech savy with these phones yet it’s cool. The biggest mistake that some people do that don’t understand fully what the hardware is in regards to tech specs is to reword them, which then starts a hype and people get upset later on because they read somewhere else that a person stated that the phone had something else (ie saying that the two processors combine to give 1ghz, which in reality are two different things, GPU and CPU). This is one of the main reasons to why some of the blogs and forums out there, like HoFo, get clogged up of people giving wrong “rumors” or info and then blog/forum gets full of people arguing. A topic which starts of with 10 posts ends up with 100 posts because people keep complaining about the wrong info given. But I understand you.
    As for the snapdragon phone, people will have to wait a year to even start seeing the leaks, and many more months to see it announced. In the meantime people will start the same process as with the Moto Droid. It’ll start with some specs that are almost true, and then people will start saying that it isn’t true and blah blah blah and what not lol.

    • Donovan

      Ya i see what your saying, thanks for going easy on me, i certainly dont want to be one of those people your talking about because i have seen the same thing in HoFo all the time.. i just hope the phone is as good as its hyped up to be..

  • John Thacker

    “Until we see something posted on the official Motorola website, consider all release dates FUD.”

    This does not make sense. I don’t think FUD means what you think it means.

  • Amu

    @JM: the Sholes will be announced in a few weeks, that has been a fact since we saw the calendar which states an Oct 30 announcement/launch. If you don’t believe it go to HoFo and look up the pre-release thread where an insider gave a clue/hint for an earlier release than what was rumored before (dec 1). Lol, you’re going to be waiting wayyyy longer than 6 months for that phone, more than a year I presume. You also have to take into account the time it’ll take for the companies to come into an agreement, which adds more time for it to be released. Would you rather pay more to import or buy an unlocked device, or wait until it gets subsidized by a carrier?

  • Amu

    Hmm I found something interesting that all of us saw/read in a leaked document with an embargo. It said that the Moto Droid could download apps/widgets from the Android Marketplace, but as well from the Motorola Marketplace that would have optimized apps for the Moto Droid. Maybe that’s why the release date couldn’t be sooner because Motorola is trying to polish their own Marketplace. It’s soundable since the Moto Droid will be the first Android device with Eclair, which won’t have any apps that will work with it since some people are barely getting the 2.0 OTA. This is probably where the exclusive part between Moto and Google kicks in. Moto will have some of the apps for the Droid that will be Eclair compatible. So maybe the Droid will have two marketplaces. Moto will have some Eclair compatible apps while Google fixes the issues with the older firmware. Just my two cents :)

  • Amu

    Guys go and check out BGR, they have the first video of the Moto Droid when turning on :]

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