UPDATE 4-15-2011: We recieved new information from our sources that Verizon has asked all their "testers" to return their Motorola Etna DROID BIONIC testing units, as the device will not be released.
We've recieved word from the depths of Motorola that the highly anticipated Etna, commonly know as the DROID BIONIC, which was slated to be Motorola's first 4G LTE smartphone for Verizon, has been canceled due to a variety of reasons.
First off, we got a nice hands-on look at the DROID BIONIC earlier this year at CES, as the phone would be the first for Verizon to come with a NVidia Tegra2 dual-core 1GHz processor, 4.3" qHD display, and 4G LTE data capabilities.
Then a few weeks later we got word that both the Atrix and DROID BIONIC were having power management bugs, which would cause them to overheat and effect the RF performance. When the Atrix was released, our sources said the power management bugs were resolved on the Atrix, but was still having difficulty on the DROID BIONIC.
Since then, we've continued to hear that things were not going well for the DROID BIONIC (Etna), as it continually failed internal testing at Motorola. Not only with the power management, but that there are some major issues with trying to get the NVidia Tegra 2 processor to work right with the baseband chips that control the hand-off between the CDMA, EVDO, and LTE radios.
Because of the variety of issues with the DROID BIONIC (Etna), as well as weak sales of the XOOM, we got word from our trusted tipsters that the "administration" at Motorola has decided to pull the plug on the DROID BIONIC (Etna) all together, and they are not happy about it either, since it was shown at the CES and was expected to come out in Q2.
Because of the cancellation of the Etna, Motorola is placing more effort in releasing the DROID X 2 (Daytona) next, followed by the DROID 3 (Solana), even though they will not support 4G LTE.
It did not make sense for Motorola to keep delaying the release of the Etna due to the issues, and have it come out after the Targa. Because of this, Motorola is ramping-up its plans for the Targa, which will be the 4G device that takes the place of the Etna. Since it is up to Verizon to "name" the device, there is a chance the Targa might still be called "DROID BIONIC" when it is released, or could end up with a different "DROID" label.
The Motorola Targa will most likely be a Q3 summer device, which is placing it a few months behind what the expected release was for the Etna, but from the people that we've talked to, the Targa a much better device and will be worth the wait. It will feature a dual-core processor, 4.3" qHD display, a 13MP camera on the rear, and a 1.3MP camera on the front.
We will keep you updated when we learn more information, and we'll be waiting to see if Motorola officially announces that the Etna will not be the DROID BIONIC, and what their plans are for the Targa.