Motorola pushes ahead with Android phones by holiday season
The handset maker 'is investing as much as anybody' in Android, executive says
Computerworld - Motorola Inc. is on track to have Android-based smartphones on sale in stores in time for the holiday buying season, and will launch them with multiple carriers in regions around the globe, the head of the company's mobile device division said today.
When the Android-based platform starts shipping from Motorola late in the third quarter, it will be leveraged across multiple devices, said Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola as well as CEO of the mobile devices unit.
"We are in detailed discussions with multiple carriers around the world about a few of our Android smartphones that we plan to deliver in fourth quarter, and we'll deliver meaningful products in the fourth quarter," Jha said during an earnings call today.
At one point, Jha said Motorola is "looking to consolidate to one platform," but a spokesman said Jha was referring to the smartphone push coming late in the year, and not on all cell phones. "He is not ruling out other platforms, but was referring to this release of smartphones," a spokesman later explained. Jha has previously been critical of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile operating system, which is used on some Motorola devices. The criticism has has led some analysts to question the level of Motorola's commmitment to Windows Mobile.
Jha praised Android, noting that 3,000 applications have already been developed for it. Motorola will focus on integrating messaging and social networking with the Android devices, he said, and will offer a range of devices in the high- and mid-tier price ranges. "We are probably investing as much as anybody on the Android platform," he added.
Motorola is still interested in spinning off its mobile phone division, Jha added. However, he wouldn't provide a timeframe except to say that the timing depends on three factors: the health of the telecom and handset industries, access to credit, and developments in the mobile device business.
Overall, the mobile device unit posted a staggering loss in sales for the first quarter, with sales of $1.8 billion, down 45% from a year ago, he said.
For all of Motorola, sales in the first quarter were $5.3 billion, down from $7.4 billion for the same quarter in 2008, the company reported.
Greg Brown, co-CEO with Jha, said Motorola is "moderating" its investment in WiMax research and development because of reduce market demand, although he said the company still has two dozen contracts for the wireless technology that are worth $5 million to $6 million in revenue.
He also noted Motorola's interest in another high-speed wireless technology called LTE, and noted the company had demonstrated its LTE capabilities at two recent trade conferences. He said Motorola still hopes to be an LTE provider for Verizon Wireless when the carrier announces its intentions later this year.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!