Posted tagged ‘Motorola’

What Happens in Vegas…

February 2, 2011

As we turn the calendar from one year to another, what does it make you think about? New Year’s Resolutions? Back-To-School? The Super Bowl?

Well, if you’re like me and employed in the world of tech PR, it means one thing…the annual “Super Bowl” of consumer electronics events, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

If you’ve ever attended CES then you know that the show has grown exponentially since its early days. There’s nothing quite like getting more than 140,000+ of your closest friends together in Las Vegas for 4 days of the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos from some of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world. Each year, months of hype lead up to the show. Who’s going to be there? What are they going to be demonstrating? What’s the big, new “it” product? And this year was no different.

Quite a few major technology trends emerged from this year’s show floor that are sure to keep me busy throughout 2011. Some of the significant topics of discussion included the launch of dozens of new tablet devices, wireless 4G LTE and enhanced connected television technologies.

And if you thought that CES had lost its luster and prestige…think again! Last year was a major down year in terms of attendance for CES. But, it was the large crowd at this year’s show that caught the attention of many in the media:

“I must’ve gotten the following question fifty times in the past few days: what’s the coolest thing you saw at CES? Every time, I’ve given the same answer: the crowd…It’s what the size of the 2011 CES signifies about the consumer electronics industry, and about the cultural centrality of a set of devices and issues that used to be the sole province of geeks.” Jon Stokes, Ars Technica

“CES 2011 is back to normal. It was packed with vendors and attendees. The overall tone was extremely up beat… It was fun to walk the floor and see what was on display.” Bill Wong, Electronic Design

There was no shortage of big names at CES. Amongst those speaking in Las Vegas this year were Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, Rupert Stadler of AUDI AG, Boo-Keun Yoon of Samsung, Alan Mulally of Ford and Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon. Each gave a Keynote presentation and Mulally used his presentation to unveil the company’s first electric vehicle, the Ford Focus Electric. Did you miss any of the Keynote presentations? Don’t worry…in this day and age you can easily go back and watch all of them online on the CES website anytime you like.

We talked trends coming out of the show earlier, and in 2011, there was no shortage of hot button topics that everyone wanted to talk about. Here’s what members of the media had to say about what they saw on the show floor:

“From the very first press conference, the main theme from the show emerged: your next smartphone will likely connect to a 4G network. For business use, 4G on your smartphone or tablet means easier Internet back-ups, smooth video chats, and snappier Web viewing.” John Brandon, Inc. Magazine

“This year, the show was all about Android. We ushered in the era of dual-core Androids with LG and Motorola, we celebrated the 4G revolution with LG, Motorola, and Samsung, and we even got a glimpse at how Android works when screen resolution is bumped beyond the all-too-common WVGA, thanks to Motorola. Oh, and a little thing called Android 3.0 Honeycomb is going to transform the way we think about not only tablets, but smartphones too.” Brandon Miniman, PocketNow.com

Larger crowds, 4G and gadgets galore! These were some of the highlights of CES this year. I think we can safely say that the recession appears to be over and if CES is any barometer for the state of the industry, then we’re in for a big 2011!

Did you go to CES this year? What was your biggest takeaway? What was your most memorable moment (at the event…not in Vegas)?

Motorola Introduces Android Phone

September 10, 2009

Motorola unveiled its first device using Google’s Android system today, hoping that it will attract consumers looking to use their phones to connect with friends, family and colleagues.

From the Associated Press:

The Cliq comes with a touch screen and a standard, “QWERTY” keyboard that slides out from its side. Software on it will let users aggregate contact information from various social networks and e-mail accounts. Small application “widgets” will show such information as your friends’ Facebook status updates on the home screen.

The new device also sports a five-megapixel camera, allowing for sharper images than most other phones, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone and its three-megapixel resolution.

The Cliq, which Motorola unveiled Thursday during a GigaOM mobile Internet conference in San Francisco, will be available from wireless carrier T-Mobile in time for the holiday season. Pricing and release details will be announced within three weeks.

Motorola plans to unveil a second Android phone in the coming weeks. It will also be available for the holidays, most likely through Verizon Wireless, which has already said it will be one of the U.S. carriers for a Motorola smart phone.

From IDG News Service:

The touch-screen phone will use an upcoming Internet-based service for Motorola phones called MotoBlur, which will integrate information from users’ contacts on a variety of social-networking services including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. MotoBlur users will be able to combine their contacts on all those networks into one contact list, organize their own groups or divide contacts by social network, according to Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of the company’s Mobile Devices group.

The Cliq, unveiled at the Mobilize conference in San Francisco, will have a slideout QWERTY keyboard as well as a touch screen. It will come with Wi-Fi as well as 3G (third-generation) connectivity, a 5-megapixel camera that can shoot video at 24 frames per second and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.


Motorola Sales Plummet; 4,000 Jobs Lost

January 15, 2009

Motorola has confirmed that the company will eliminate an additional 4,000 jobs (all but 1,000 from its mobile-devices unit) after cell phone sales plummeted more than 50 percent in its fourth quarter.

From the Associated Press:

Mobile handset maker Motorola Inc. said Wednesday it will cut 4,000 more jobs in 2009, in addition to 3,000 it announced in October.

The company said the move will save about $700 million a year starting in 2009, and total $1.5 billion in annual savings when combined with the previous cut.

Most of the new layoffs will hit the mobile devices business, while about 1,000 jobs are tied to corporate functions and other business units.

The move is the latest in cost-cutting measures by Motorola, which has been struggling to revive its business in recent years. When the cuts are complete, around 12,000 workers will have left the company since December 2007 when there were 66,000 employees, an 18 percent reduction. Last month, it announced it was freezing its pension plans and reducing executive pay.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company also said Wednesday it expects revenue for the fourth quarter to be between $7 billion and $7.2 billion, as it saw continued weakness in consumer demand and customer inventory reductions.

Nokia Moves Closer to an Open Source Platform

December 3, 2008

Nokia has taken a critical step toward creating an open-source wireless environment, terming the closing of its deal to Symbian a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation is a cross-industry collaboration that will use Symbian’s open software to rival Google’s Android and the LiMo Foundation’s own Linux operating systems.

From InformationWeek:

At Nokia World on Tuesday, the cell phone manufacturer announced upgrades to its maps and messaging services. Nokia Maps, the company’s mobile mapping and navigation service, has been integrated more with the online Ovi service. It now enables users to preplan trips on a desktop computer and synchronize with their cell phones.

Nokia is adding high-resolution aerial images, 3-D landmarks, and instant access to some traffic information and event guides. Pedestrian navigation also has been improved. The company said the higher map quality is because of its $8.1 billion acquisition of Navteq. “Nokia has clearly increased the usability of Maps, and now with the integration of Ovi services, the functionality of this service can also be seen,” said Michael Halbherr, VP of Nokia’s location-based experiences, in a statement. “Enabling Nokia Maps the ability to synchronize my favorite places between my mobile and PC becomes the main reason for anyone to switch from other personal navigation devices to Nokia Maps.”

With the launch of Nokia Messaging, the company is beefing up the messaging capabilities of its most popular handsets. The service will push e-mail from Web-based providers, like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail, and ISP-based accounts to the majority of Nokia devices. Once the application is installed, the company said, setting up accounts will only require users to enter their e-mail addresses and passwords.

From Beta News:

In announcing today that it’s closed a deal to buy Symbian Ltd, mobile phone maker Nokia called the completion of the acquisition a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation, a multi-vendor group that will bolster the Symbian OS to take on Android and the LiMo Foundation’s emerging OS as a mobile open source environment.

Beyond Nokia, the foundation has members that include wireless carriers AT&T, Vodafone, and Japanese-based NTT DoCoMo, in addition to phone and chip makers such as Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.

The group plans to fuse together the three disparate user interface layers of the Symbian OS — UIQ, NTT DoCoMo’s MOAP, and Nokia’s own S60 — into a common framework.

“The platform will offer the means to build a complete mobile device while providing the tools to differentiate devices through tailoring of the user experience, applications and services. This will enable device manufacturers to create unique devices, based on a consistent and common platform, providing fuel and scale for the innovation of others,” according to a Foundation white paper.

The new framework — coupled with the underlying, upgraded Symbian OS — will then be licensed to the open source community under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

Motorola Preparing Its Own Google Android Phone

October 20, 2008

Motorola is reportedly making its own version of a phone based on Google’s Android operating system and is expected to release the handset in mid-2009. The device will likely house such features as a touch-screen interface, slide-out keyboard and social-network-related applications. Without detailing its intentions, Motorola stated that it was excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google.

From BusinessWeek:

As the wireless world awaits the Oct. 22 debut of the first phone based on the Google-backed Android software, engineers at Motorola are hard at work on their own Android handset. Motorola’s version will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and a host of social-network-friendly features, BusinessWeek.com has learned.

Motorola has been showing spec sheets and images of the phone to carriers around the world in the past two months and is likely to introduce the handset in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2009, according to people familiar with Motorola’s plans. Building a phone based on the highly anticipated Android operating system is part of Motorola’s effort to revive a loss-making handset division that has forfeited market share amid a drought of bestselling phones. Motorola stock, which on Oct. 17 rose a penny to 5.62, is hovering near a 16-year low.

The phone will appear among a new class of social smartphones designed to make it easy for users to connect quickly and easily to mobile social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. Such phones let users message in-network friends directly from phone contact lists, for example. A Facebook representative declined to comment on the company’s work with Motorola. MySpace.com didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Motorola declined to elaborate on its plans, but said in a statement: “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google” and the community of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance that are working on the Android operating system.

From InformationWeek:

More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.

We already know that Motorola is working on an Android phone. Recently, we learned that the phone will provide access to social networking services. BusinessWeek has confirmed this, and that the phone will have a touchscreen similar to the iPhone and also a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. According to the BW report, insiders say the device will bear similar design language as the recently-announced Motorola Krave ZN4.

Word is that the phone will have a higher-end look when compared to the HTC G1, which goes on sale starting this week. While the G1 will sell for about $180 after rebates with new contract, the as-yet unnamed Motorola Android phone will be priced at the $150 level.

What we don’t know is what network technology the Motorola Android phone will use. The HTC G1 uses the GSM system, and is compatible with networks worldwide. Given the large number of European companies invovled in the Open Handset Alliance, it would make sense for Motorola to choose GSM-based networking technologies for its device, as opposed to the CDMA-based technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The bad news is that the phone won’t be ready until some time in the second quarter of 2009, which could easily put it as much as six months behind the G1′s launch. We don’t know if this is because Motorola started developing later for the Android than HTC did or simply because Motorola is taking its time to make sure things turn out as good as possible.

From GigaOM:

Sanjay Jha, who now heads up Motorola’s handset business (which is likely to be spun out some time soon), was another proponent of Android, back when he was the COO of Qualcomm. (Related: GigaOM Interview with Sanjay Jha.) Here are some notable bits about the upcoming phone:

  • Motorola is showing specs and images to carriers.
  • The phone could be introduced sometime in second quarter of 20098.
  • The phone will have a touchscreen the size of iPhone screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
  • The phone will focus on social networking features.
  • The team spearheading the Android development is the one that came to Motorola via acquisition of Good Technology.

The new phone based on Android may not be such a bad idea for Motorola, but the company needs to rationalize its vast array of devices that use an equally confusing number of operating systems. In addition to Android, Motorola has two different Linux efforts — its internal version and LiMo-based Linux devices — as well as Motorola’s proprietary operating system, Qualcomm’s Brew and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

From CRN:

While Motorola has declined to specify its plans, it issued a statement saying, “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google,” BusinessWeek.com reported, indicating that Motorola has been showing wireless carriers spec sheets and images of the device, which is expected to hit the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2009.

Word of Motorola’s first Android-based device comes just weeks after reports surfaced noting that the Schaumburg, Ill.-based handset maker is trumping up its Android development team by assembling a group of up to 350 Android developers to reinvigorate its struggling mobile device business. The added developers will bulk up Motorola’s Android team from the 50 members it has today.

Motorola’s Android device will pit it head-to-head against other touch-screen titans that have recently stormed the market in attempts to dethrone Apple’s 3G iPhone from its spot at the top. As a sort of prelude, Motorola last week released its first-ever touch-screen phone, the Motorola Krave, which launched Oct. 14 on Verizon Wireless.

From CNET:

Motorola’s Android phone, according to the report, is expected to feature a touch screen similar to Apple’s popular iPhone, as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that allows users to connect to such social-networking sites as MySpace and Facebook. It is unclear how similar it will be to T-Mobile USA’s newly released G1 phone, manufactured by HTC, which also uses Android.

The phone is anticipated to make its U.S. debut in the second quarter of next year, according to sources cited in the BusinessWeek report, which noted that carriers have already seen spec sheets and images of the devices.

Motorola’s Android phone may carry a price of approximately $150 to $180, with a two-year carrier contract, according to the report.

Google Android Arrives September 23

September 11, 2008

Reuters is reporting that Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit is set to start selling a mobile phone based on Google Inc’s Android software within weeks.

From the article:

“T-Mobile and Google will be making an announcement this month in New York City,” two people told Reuters on Wednesday, adding Sept. 23 was a likely date for the announcement.

T-Mobile declined to comment and Google was not immediately available.

In February, T-Mobile Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said at a trade fair in Barcelona the company planned to launch a device operating on the Android software platform in the fourth quarter, which Akhavan had promised would not disappoint.

“Early results we have seen have given us all the confidence that it will be groundbreaking,” he said at the time.

The device, dubbed the Google “Dream” phone, is being made by smartphone maker High Tech Computer Corp and is expected to challenge Apple Inc’s iPhone as well as other smartphones that run software from Palm Inc, Research in Motion, Microsoft Corp and Nokia Oyj.

It will operate using T-Mobile’s third-generation network and feature a slide-out keypad. Apple’s successful iPhone uses a touch-screen keyboard.

From Silicon Alley Insider:

Google’s first Android-powered ‘GPhone’ could be announced at a New York press event as soon as Sept. 23, Reuters reports, citing the usual “people familiar with the matter.” We can’t confirm the report, but it makes sense — most consumer electronics brands are announcing their holiday gadget lineups this month and next month, like Apple’s (AAPL) new iPod roster, unveiled yesterday, and Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Zunes, announced Monday.

From InformationWeek:

I am not one for fancy colors. I don’t need a lot of choice when it comes to cell phone hues. But since HTC is making products for everyone else, it appears that the Android phone will come in black, white and brown. A chocolate-colored smartphone?

The Android Guys have dug up a document that they say details the SKU for the upcoming G1. They write:

The internal point of sale system from T-Mobile has apparently been updated to include the SKU/UPC for each version. Typically, these are implemented into the system a few days to weeks before the sale date. The price is not usually put on until the day of release however, so we cannot confirm costs yet. You can also check the UPC code against the national database to find it exists. Not really much in the way of exciting news, but it helps confirm the eventual release is just that much closer.

From Internet News:

Reuters is reporting that Google’s first Android smartphone will debut on September 24th — just two weeks from now, though exclusive carrier T-Mobile and Google of course aren’t publicly commenting on the impending smartphone arrival.

If it does arrive, it bodes well for what’s likely the most anticipated mobile device since Apple launched its iPhone just over a year ago. But whether it’s anticipation level is on par with the iPhone debut is still a huge unknown in my view.

The Android has drawn attention due to its open source platform approach, and of course, because Google’s behind it. But is that enough for the mainstream mobile user to care?

Given what Google is, are mobile users just projecting that its search innovation will transcend into mobility device innovation?

As pundits have repeatedly stated, users want smartphones that offer something better than the last one did, or speedier connectivity, or more exciting software tools.

I mean look what the touch screen design has done for smartphones — one pundit said that feature alone can help propel device sales for players who have been lagging. So it’s no surprise Nokia and Motorola are running touch screen capability to market very soon.

So I’m guessing Android will have a touch screen (what a story it would be if it didn’t right…), and it’ll have some great applications — at least I’m assuming since it’s all about the platform right.

But what else could it have that the iPhone or any other device doesn’t have right now?

Or will the Google hook be enough to cause another product swell in the marketplace?

From Mobile Magazine:

Initial rumors said that the HTC Dream G1, the first Android smartphone, would launch with T-Mobile USA some time in October. It seems that things are actually ahead of schedule and the phone is ready for this month instead. More specifically, current rumors are pointing toward a possible announcement on September 23 by the guys at T-Mobile and Google in New York City.

Bear in mind that September 23rd is the rumored date for an announcement. It’s still perfectly fathomable that the HTC Dream G1 won’t actually launch until October (or later).


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