Motorola exec boasts of 2 GHz processor coming to Android

Faster processing needed for gamers, but also multi-tasking workers

A smartphone OS war has not officially been declared, but some of the generals are already lining up soldiers for attack.

After iPhone 4 was announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday, one of the biggest promoters of the Android OS, Motorola executive Sanjay Jha, said Thursday his company will roll out an Android smartphone with a 2 GHz processor by year's end. That would be double the 1GHz Snapdragon processor used in several of the fastest smartphones on the market today and double the coming iPhone 4, which ships on June 24.

Jha is CEO of Motorola's consumer division. His comments about the 2 GHz smartphone during a speech at the Executives Club of Chicago, were reported by Conceivably Tech and some other sites.

Motorola officials could not be reached to elaborate, but Conceivably Tech, citing an unidentified Motorola executive, said the new 2 GHz smartphone would run Android, would have a gyroscope like the iPhone 4, and an Nvidia Tegra-based graphics processor with full Flash 10.1 hardware acceleration. That executive also said the upcoming Android phone would support 720p video output, with high definition screen resolution, and a camera with more than 5 megapixel resolution.

Jha also said that companies would start giving their workers smartphones instead of laptops in two years. Smartphones will have "faster and faster access to information," Jha said, according to Conceivably Tech.

Many analysts and some IT executives have questioned why workers need a 1 GHz processor, let alone one with 2 GHz, for access to enterprise applications and e-mail, although the speed could come in handy if the smartphone was truly replacing a laptop. Mostly, fast processing is sought by gamers, not workers, they noted.

Faster processors, however, are considered essential to smooth playing of video and multi-tasking, which could become more essential if companies rely on mobile devices for video calls or to play video training films for sales or technicians.

Some companies will want faster processing speed to have one application on a smartphone running in the background, while another runs in the foreground. Using an inventory application, for example, a technician could check a server over a wireless connection in the background to find a needed part, while the technician would be using e-mail or voice in the foreground to talk to a customer.

Today's Snapdragon processors, with 1 GHz speeds, from Qualcomm will be replaced by 1.5 GHz Snapdragons later this year that are capable of running 1080p HD video on smartphones, Qualcomm has announced.

Current 1GHz Snapdragon processors run in the recently released HTC Droid Incredible and the HTC Evo 4G released by Sprint Nextel and others last Friday. The Evo's processor speed and access to faster 4G networks over the WiMax network have attracted some buyers, giving Sprint its best first day sales for any smartphone, although the company later had to adjust its original first day sales figures numbers. _

Last year's iPhone 3GS ran on an Arm Cortex A8 processor that clocked at 600 MHz, and the Apple A4, coming in the iPhone 4 on June 24, will run at 1 GHz.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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