July 21, 2010, 4:48 PM — Verizon Wireless and Motorola today said fewer than one-tenth of 1% of the new Droid X smartphones that have been sold have experienced a "flickering" or "banding" on the display, and that Motorola has resolved the problem.
With the fix added, the Droid Xs continue to ship after first going on sale last Thursday, the companies said in a short e-mailed statement. The statement refers to "a very small number" of units with the problem, a figure that a Verizon spokeswoman said amounts to "less than one tenth of one percent, but I can't share the number."
Verizon and Motorola acted quickly to address the screen display issue on the Android -based Droid X, given that reports on the problem surfaced one day after it went on sale on a Thursday, and the companies released a statement and a fix the following Tuesday.
By contrast, it was 22 days before Apple CEO Steve Jobs last week offered to provide customers with a free case for the iPhone 4 to help resolve an antenna problem that came to light after the June 24 launch of the device. The reports on the reception issue saddled Apple with immediate negative publicity .
"This is the right way to handle a problem," said analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates. "Nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. People can deal with a problem if you admit you have one and go ahead and tell them you will fix it. That is called customer service."
Gold said it is "much less expensive to handle a problem in the early stages than wait until lots of units get out there with the same problem and have to take remedial action."
The companies' statement reads: "Verizon Wireless and Motorola are aware of a very small number of Droid X units that have experienced a flickering or banding display. Motorola has resolved the issue and is continuing to ship the phones. Any consumer who experiences a flickering or banding display should contact Motorola customer support center or Verizon Wireless."
Verizon is replacing defective units with a new phone, the spokeswoman said. An over-the-air patch is being sent to other Droid X customers to prevent the problem from occurring, according to various blogs.