Motorola Solutions unveils the Symbol TC70 rugged handheld

manufacturing motorola symbol0tc70

A workers uses a Symbol TC70 handheld in a manufacturing plant.

Credit: Motorola Solutions

Device supports dozens of industrial apps, runs Android KitKat

Motorola Solutions today announced the Symbol TC70 rugged handheld computer with a 4.7-in. touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 that can accommodate wet fingers, gloves or a stylus.

The device will retail for $2,000 but can be purchased in large quantities for less than $1,000 each, according to Barry Issberner, senior director of Motorola Solutions product marketing.

motorola rugged symbol tc70 Motorola Solutions

The Symbol TC70 rugged handheld computer uses the Android KitKat OS.

The TC70 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, and is the first enterprise-class mobile computer to do so. Motorola Solutions began supporting Android on its devices two years ago, and the TC70 is the seventh-generation Android device it has produced.

Issberner said that enterprise customers demand intensive testing of devices and with Android 5.0 Lollipop just out on the market, it is too early to gauge customer interest. "We will continue on the Google platform, but our transitions [to new versions] are not as quick as for the consumer market," he said. If enterprise customers demand Lollipop, then Motorola Solutions will follow, he said.

The company will produce the device for five years, and if a customer decides to buy the TC70 within that period, there will be a five-year guarantee for tech support and repairs.

The TC70 is supported by more than 50 certified applications for price and inventory checks, workforce management and inventory management. Imaging technology allows mobile workers to capture signatures, photos, videos and almost any bar code.

It can function as a two-way radio over Wi-Fi and supports VoIP. It can also withstand repeated drops to a concrete floor from six feet because it is built with a metal frame and has permanent bumpers on either end. It has also been tested to withstand more than 2,000 tumbles from three feet. Tumble tests are designed to replicate the kind of bumps and bangs experienced in daily use.

Issberner said the C70 is designed for 24-hour daily use by various workers, instead of just one owner, and can be charged quickly in a separate charging cradle.

The TC70 is likely to be the last sold by the division at Motorola Solutions focused on enterprise sales, since that division is being purchased by Zebra Technologies in a deal expected to close by the end of the year.

The TC70 will use the brand name Symbol, which is still widely recognized as a brand known for industrial scanning settings and related work. "We kept Symbol because we feel that the Motorola brand is getting fuzzy and Symbol is well-known and we're using Symbol as a sub-brand under Zebra" once the Zebra deal is finalized, Issberner said.

The portion of Motorola Solutions focused on public safety devices will retain the Motorola Solutions name. Meanwhile, Motorola Mobility -- a maker of consumer smartphones-- is being sold by Google to Lenovo of China in a deal set to close by January.

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