Q it up!

When I first saw the advertising for the Motorola Q, I had the feeling it was going to be a hit. I also thought the Palm Treo was in big trouble.

The first prediction wasn’t a real stretch, and I ended up being right. Thin and feature-packed is clearly a recipe for success. As far as smartphones go, the Q’s launch was a tremendous success. At its high point in early June of this year, almost 20% of Verizon handset researchers looked at the Q online. For context, the only other smartphone to break through even the 5% interest level this year at Verizon was the XV6700, a Verizon branded UTStarcom device, which peaked at 6.1% in mid-January.

It looks like the Q is attracting more than just office drones too. Consumers interested in the Q were primarily comparing it to multimedia phones. A smartphone with strong multimedia appeal that garnered the highest level of overall shopper interest this year"¦..perhaps it was a true crossover product?

In July and August, consumers shopping the Q were also shopping the Motorola RAZR, Samsung SCH-a990 and SCH-a930, and LG VX8300. With its launch in August, another multimedia phone, the LG Chocolate immediately became the phone most cross-shopped by Q shoppers. Of course, the Chocolate is highly shopped in general (maybe more on this in a later post) so that came as no real surprise.

Treo shoppers, on the other hand, are sticking with e-mailed enabled phones and mostly considered other Treos and smartphones. An average of 2.2% of Verizon handset researchers looked at each of the Treo models each month.

This was starting to make sense. I know I had considered the Treo – it’s the clear smartphone winner in our office market share contest. But I always thought it was too bulky and was holding out for something better. Consistent with my past technology upgrade experiences, I was rewarded for waiting – along came the Q. Being a researcher I read the reviews and cornered some early buyers I knew to get their opinions. Despite its lack of a touch screen and a Palm OS, I was still sold on the Q’s overall package and ended up buying. Meanwhile, Palm issued a press release earlier this month — their revenue was going to be short of earlier guidance "primarily due to lower Treo volumes in carrier retail channels." I guess I’m not the only one comparing the two and going with the Q.

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