Verizon, Motorola extend Android collaboration with Droid 2

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is filling out its Android lineup with the long-anticipated Motorola (NYSE:MOT) Droid 2, the sequel to the device that helped catapult Motorola back into the smartphone business. 

Motorola verizon wireless droid 2 pictures and specsVerizon said the Droid 2 will be available online Aug. 11 and in stores the following day for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. The Droid 2, the successor to the original Droid, has been rumored for months. The gadget follows on the heels of the Motorola Droid X, which Verizon launched last month to strong demand.

The Droid 2 runs Android 2.2, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. The device has a 3.7-inch screen, Swype's text-input software,  Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 and a full Qwerty keyboard. The phone also supports Verizon's 3G Mobile HotSpot service, which allows users to connect up to 5 WiFi-enabled devices to the carrier's 3G network and costs $20 per month.

In addition, for all of those "Star Wars" fans out there, Verizon promised a limited-edition R2-D2 version of the Droid 2, which will be available only online starting in September. The special edition phone will feature exclusive Star Wars content and a design echoing the venerable droid from the movies. (Verizon licenses the Droid trademark from Lucasfilm.) 

Verizon pushed the original Motorola Droid in November with a $100 million marketing campaign, and used the gadget to introduce its Android-powered Droid franchise.

Separately from Verizon's Droid 2 announcement, the blog Boy Genius Report published what it said is Verizon's 2010-2011 device roadmap. Gadgets reportedly on tap for the nation's largest carrier include Samsung and Motorola Android tablets, Motorola, Samsung and HTC Android phones with global roaming capabilities, and a Novatel LTE-capable MiFi device, set to launch early next year, that can support up to 10 devices. A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment on the rumors.   

For more:
- see this release
- see these Droid 2 pictures and specs
- see this Boy Genius Report post

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