updated 08:50 am EDT, Thu May 10, 2007
Moto Braces for iPhone
Motorola is preparing itself for the iPhone through new hardware, company CEO Ed Zander said at a conference yesterday. The executive claimed that much of Motorola's cellphone strategy is shifting towards Internet access and media playback, and that the company would announce a high-end phone at a European event next week that would reinforce the firm's position against Apple.
"This [phone] has unbelievable video capability. It's a media monster," Zander said.
The phone will reportedly have an SD card slot for storing media, though the CEO didn't explain whether it might be the more common microSD format used for cellphones. Zander also declined providing other details, such as the device's possible use of the third-generation Interent access increasingly prevalent in Europe but absent for the initial iPhone.
Nonetheless, the company leader explained that phones such as these meant that Apple would have to react to Motorola's strategy, rather than force a change. Motorola was already heavily invested in making phones increasingly relevant outside of calling alone, he said.
"I think it's going to, in some cases, reinforce what we have been trying to do and are doing with the mobile Internet," he added.
Motorola has nevertheless seen a reversal of fortunes in recent years that may prove daunting for its success versus the iPhone, having seen the popularity of its iconic RAZR phone and its brand fade since a peak in 2004. The company also turned a $181 million loss in its latest quarter compared to a significant profit a year ago.
Apple, in turn, has effectively abandoned the ill-fated ROKR iTunes phone co-developed with Motorola, opting instead to release its own device which in early estimates is anticipated to thrive upon its release.