Motorola Looks for Carriers to Join the CLIQ

Is the era of exclusive smartphones dead? The question arises as word comes that Motorola Inc. is searching for more carrier partners for its first Android-based device, the CLIQ.

Moto announced last week that the CLIQ would launch on the T-Mobile USA network, but speaking to analysts this week co-CEO Sanjay Jha said he was “fairly hopeful we will begin to engage with all the U.S. operators.” No other details were given.

For T-Mobile, the news could impact its Christmas sales season if users on other networks opt to wait and see if the CLIQ comes to their own carrier. However, exclusive deals don’t always do for companies what AT&T Inc. and Apple Inc. have seen with the iPhone’s success. The Palm Pre has failed to be a juggernaut at Sprint so far, for instance. And the BlackBerry Storm has ended up as just one of many performers for Verizon Wireless with no evidence of legions of people leaving other carriers in droves for it. And finally, T-Mobile itself has seen success with the other two Google Android devices it carries (the G1 and the myTouch), but neither have managed to turn around the struggling carrier’s financials.

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