Motorola and Verizon have just launched an expensive new smartphone. The Droid Pro is being marketed as "the first Android-based smartphone optimized for business use". It will be open for pre-order on November 9 and purchase on November 18. The Pro launches with a 1 Ghz processor, 4 GB of storage and a QWERTY keyboard. It comes with Quickoffice Mobile Suite pre-loaded.
The display is 3.1" and the OS is Android 2.2. Flash player 10.1 functionality is in at launch, along with 3G Mobile HotSpot features. The camera is a 5 MP shooter with auto-focus and a dual LED flash. In addition to Quickoffice, the Pro features Exchange support and Gmail for Business, along with a corporate directory look-up and a unified Enterprise calendar that syncs with Google Calendar.
Using the Pro, you can view, share and edit Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents. AuthenTec IPSec multi-headed VPN integration comes standard, along with remote device and SD card wipe and complex password support. Device/SD encryption launches in early 2011.
The Pro is a world-phone, capable of handling wireless voice service in 220+ different countries, while data coverage extends to over 200 countries, including 120 with 3G. It costs $179.99 after a $100 rebate, so nearly $300 out-of-pocket. If you aren't a serious traveller (or a corporate customer), the Pro isn't going to be worth it.
Verizon is marketing this thing as an Android BlackBerry alternative. And that just may work. The Pro is designed to look a lot like one of RIM's phones, right down to the BlackBerry-style keyboard. This certainly isn't good news for the future of BlackBerry.
The Pro is evidence that both Android AND Apple are moving in on RIM's territory. This smartphone may be the first Android device secure enough to succeed in the Enterprise market, but it won't be the last.