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Motorola Milestone (aka Droid) Hits T-Mobile UK

Gordon Kelly

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Motorola Milestone (aka Droid) Hits T-Mobile

The Motorola Droid has made something of a splash over in the US, and now we've got more news about when you'll be able to get it in the UK. Thing is, it's weird...

Proving that Motorola still has the potential to screw up even when it has seemingly managed to nail the handset, the revelation is that the company has agreed an exclusive deal with - wait for it, an online reseller. Yep, not a network, not a highstreet chain, but an online reseller.

That company is Expansys and, to be fair, it is a reasonably well known and well established online business, but odd nonetheless? Most definitely. The key points are that from 7 December Expansys will be selling the Droid - or 'Milestone' as it will inexplicably be rechristened in the UK - for £449.99.

Even stranger is that a contact version on T-Mobile will also be released only via Expansys and with no availability through T-Mobile directly. At least the deal seems decent with a £35pm contract getting the Milestone for £49.99 and providing 700m of calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of data allowance.

We're awaiting greater clarification on all this, but in the meantime it does seem Expansys has gotten itself quite the exclusive as US sales have already topped 800,000 for the Android 2.0 equipped smartphone.

Still, odd... very odd indeed.

Links:

Sim free Motorola Droid on Expansys

T-Mobile contract Motorola Droid on Expansys

Moche

December 1, 2009, 11:01 am

As I understand it the Droid name is a Verizon invention to be used on a range of Android powered phones on the American network. So the shift to an alternative name elsewhere might not be that inexplicable. Whether it is a good alternative is debatable though.

jopey

December 1, 2009, 12:15 pm

Well that's stupid, well done Motorola, I'm now getting an iphone. I can't wait around for them to start selling them properly.

Helmore

December 1, 2009, 1:09 pm

Motorola seems to have nailed the handset from a hardware perspective, except for one thing. The hardware QWERTY keyboard doesn't seem to be very good from what I've read of the reviews so far. Some reviewers have stated its decent, not good, while others say it pretty much sucks. I guess I'll have to make up my mind about that once I can try one in some local store over here, although that might still take a while.


As for the name, only Verizon is allowed to use the Droid name and they are actually licencing it from LucasFilm. In other words, Motorola is not allowed to use it (unless they pay LucasFilm).

Stewart

December 1, 2009, 2:05 pm

'Expansys...... a reasonably well known and well established online business'





Maybe for techies and those that frequent TR but its not really a well known name with the general online shopping public where the bulk of online shopping gets done - its not like its Amazon or Play.





What on earth are Motorola thinking of.


With that sort of marketing it'll never be anything more than a niche product (and a rare one at that).

Stelph

December 1, 2009, 2:10 pm

Well thats rubbish, I was really hoping that the Droid/Milestone would be the first phone to really cause the iPhone problems, but not at that price point! The Droid sold so well in the US because its only $199 dollars (I know, I know its not as simple as that because the charges in the US are a lot higher ect) but still a lot of the time its that initial outlay that people object to and could make or break a phone, and £450 outlay and then an expensive contract on top is just too much IMO





The 3G iPhone PAYG is £350, and then a sim free contract is £20 a month on a monthly rolling contract with 600mins, 1200 texts and unlimited internet ... No contest now unfortunatly

ChaosDefinesOrder

December 1, 2009, 2:15 pm

when will handset makers realise that the way to get lots of sales and potentially lots of profit is to have their devices in as many shops as possible? Sure, revenue sharing exclusivity contracts are all well and good, but putting your device in an exclusivity deal with one of the more expensive online resellers is a really stupid idea!





well done Motorola; as Gordon mentioned, they're showing once again that they have the amazing ability to screw up a potentially good seller!

ChaosDefinesOrder

December 1, 2009, 3:35 pm

@Stelph: If you read the article again, you'll see that the £449.99 price tag is for SIM free. The contract version is £49.99 plus £35 a month which is a lot better than the $199 dollars plus contract with significantly less included! It also blows the iPhone up-front cost out of the water, especially when you compared the SIM-free price of an iPhone at circa £800!

Stelph

December 1, 2009, 3:45 pm

@ChaosDefinesOrder


Thanks, realised after posting that id make the mistake of speed reading the article! At £49.99 on contract thats actually a very good deal when compared to the iPhone. Tho I wonder how popular it will be if Expansys is the only place people can get it

Dave 1

December 1, 2009, 3:57 pm

For what its worth I went through expansys last time I took out a contract (the phone I really wanted wasn't available on my chosen provider) and I have no complaints with the service at all, was quick and painless.

Chris Beach

December 1, 2009, 5:29 pm

Also note that the contract expansys phone is still sim free.

Zero 1

December 1, 2009, 8:08 pm

Hahaha exclusive retailer is Expancy???? WTF were they thinking about. Expansy must be the most ripped off place you can get either online or infact you can even compare it to high-street retailers. Its that bad.....

Martin Leventon

December 1, 2009, 8:47 pm

How would this work with someone already on T-mobile ? Got a while until my contract come to the end though, so perhaps this lunacy will be finished with by then.

HarryGlass

December 1, 2009, 9:51 pm

It is a strange move, but I for one welcome it.


I've never really understood Expansys, they seem so expensive for everything they do, yet despite the recession and all that they seem to be doing well. So there must be something to them.


With the iPhone now being in Tesco I quite like the idea of this phone being a bit more exclusive. I've been put off an iPhone for a number of reasons, some hardware, some software over the last couple of years. Now that it's finally gotten rid of most of those issues for me it's now got another problem which is just the fact it's too common. I know that doesn't bother many people, but it does me.





So here instead Android phone (rare), Android 2 (rarer still), only available at one slightly off beat online retails (rarer yet). This is a steak tartar to a Big Mac and to me that's one tasty milestone.

raytr

December 1, 2009, 10:41 pm

Perhaps Millstone would have been a better name.

jopey

December 1, 2009, 11:08 pm

@HK That's a bit, dare I say, 'old fashioned'. These new phones aren't quite the same as the old phones where what they looked like was basically all the appeal they had. Something new and different from the phone all your friends had was a good thing. But now, in this 'mobile app ecosystem', if your friend has an iphone and you have an Anroid phone; when they have a cool app or game and you want to play it, you can't. It's like a game console or a social network. It serves you best to get the same as all your friends, otherwise you are left in the cold. I was really looking forward to getting a Droid over the iphone as it's a proper alternative hardware wise and I think google's open app system is more preferable to apple's closed one. However I'm not bothered to the point where I'm going to allow them to force me to use one specific retailer. That's truly ridiculous and more closed than apple currently, so it's very "un-android". Maybe a true iphone alternative will be here in another 18 months.





There's no chance expansys are paying Motorola enough money to cover the loss in sales a full release would generate. What's happened is that the phone is already very successful in the US and they probably have enough demand to meet supply, therefore they are doing an exclusive over here to cover the gap until they can make more phones, in the mean time getting a chunk of change from expansys. They are having their cake and eating it.

stephenallred

December 2, 2009, 1:04 am

Got, not gotten. Damn Americanisms creeping in.

Simon T

December 2, 2009, 4:33 am

Kidneystone?

HarryGlass

December 2, 2009, 5:58 pm

I am old fashioned, I wear braces and waistcoats. :-P





Anyway, it's a phone first, i'm not too bothered about games. But for that Android has plenty of games and apps, and while not as many as an iPhone it's catching up fast especially with the popularity of this phone in the States.





I reckon you're right, Moto have short supply, just enough to give Expansys a couple of months exclusivity and then come next year they'll put this out on a major carrier when they've got new stock.

Pipps

December 21, 2009, 12:01 am

Thank you Moto and HK. Let's hope we see the Droid on a UK network in 2010! Thank you also to TrustedReviews for bringing another innovative article which their readers want to read. :)

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