Motorola, Optus launch 'social' Android smartphones

Motorola has launched its MOTOBLUR range of Android-powered “social” smartphones onto the Australian market with two new handsets and an exclusive partnership with telco Optus.

The Motorola DEXT and Motorola BACKFLIP are the first two MOTOBLUR handsets and will be available for free on $49 and $59 per month (24 months) Optus plans from April 9.

MOTOBLUR is Motorola’s Android-based platform and service designed to integrate seamlessly with online services like Facebook, Twitter and Gmail.

As many as 20 MOTOBLUR handsets will be launched over the next 12 months.

A key feature is integrated contact management and message updates in one “stream” on the handset.

Consumers create a MOTOBLUR account when they first use the phone and then add the login credentials to other social networking services they would like available on the smartphone. Content is pushed to the home screen with the MOTOBLUR “Happenings” service.

Managing director for Motorola A/NZ and the Pacific Islands, Timo Brouwer, said with MOTOBLUR Motorola is differentiating the Android experience by delivering a “unique mobile device experience designed around the way people interact today”.

Motorola first hinted at plans to release an Android-based handset some 18 months ago, and is now very bullish about the future of mobile Linux on its devices.

Optus has released new mobile plans, called Optus ‘yes’ Social plans and Optus ‘yes’ Business Complete plans, which provide unlimited access to MOTOBLUR Happenings, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.

Michael Smith, managing director of Optus Consumer said the new handsets allow customers to “socialise without limits” and will unlock the potential of mobile social networking.

MOTOBLUR automatically syncs contacts from personal and work e-mail as well as social network accounts direct to the phone and updates any changes.

Your status can be updated on the home screen and sent to the subscribed social networking services.

News feed and calendar (Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar) data are also integrated.

Motorola’s national marketing manager Sam Ezra said MOTOBLUR backs up phone and account data so if the phone is ever lost the data can be sent to a new phone automatically.

“With GPS tracking of a lost phone, you can remotely delete the data on the phone if it is lost,” she said.

MOTOBLUR has five customisable home screens for different applications and it is compatible with the Android Market app store.

Optus has a MOTOBLUR Web site for more information at:


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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