Motorola's Android 2.0-powered Milestone - known as Droid in the U.S. - will go on sale in the U.K. SIM free and on T-Mobile in four days, in what is shaping up to be a rather bizarre launch.
With absolutely no fanfare it emerged last week that online retailer Expansys will offer an unlocked version of the handset for £449.99, and a contract version tied to an 18-month T-Mobile UK tariff costing £35 per month, plus a £49.99 upfront fee.
Total Telecom spoke to someone at Expansys who said the phone will go on sale in four days. Meanwhile a Motorola UK spokeswoman said the phone maker is still "firming up" the Milestone's launch plans.
While the U.S. market was treated to an aggressive marketing campaign that pitted the smartphone directly against Apple's rival iPhone, Motorola's European effort has been understated to say the least.
At the beginning of November Motorola's German Website confirmed that the Droid was being renamed Milestone ahead of its European debut. Since then announcements have been made regarding the phone's availability in Italy, Canada, Brazil and Argentina to name a few.
Meanwhile Motorola said in the small print on its U.K. Milestone fact sheet that the device will be available in Q4 2009, but that's about as far as it goes for now.
Incidentally, Total Telecom's theory on the name change outside the U.S. stems from the fact that the word 'Droid' is a trademark of Star Wars creator George Lucas' Lucasfilm.
There are probably myriad reasons for the change; however, when negotiating a trademark licensing deal you need to specify in which territories you want to use it - so maybe Moto didn't see the value in shelling out to use the Droid name outside the U.S.?