updated 12:40 pm EST, Thu January 14, 2010
Moto CEO says Milestone just the start
The "majority" of Motorola's future phones will use multi-touch input in the near future, the company's CEO Sanjay Jha remarked late Thursday. Addressing the question of implementing multi-touch across Android as a whole, Jha expects his company to be "proactive" on implementing it as customers are positive about the interface change when it's present. He doesn't provide a schedule to Laptop for how soon or how many phones will get the treatment.
Currently, the only Motorola phone that supports multi-touch on a significant level is the Milestone, the GSM version of the Droid. The Droid itself technically supports multi-touch through Android 2.0, but none of its stock apps recognize the additional input. Owners of the Cliq and eventually the Backflip may only get support with an Android 2.0 upgrade.
The change in interface is considered part of a larger trend towards software at Motorola, which Jha says is now much more important at the company than it has been in its chiefly hardware-dominated past. Android has been particularly successful for the company as it already has a presence in 15 countries acrosss 23 carriers. Motorola is second only in brand value to Apple in the US, the executive adds, although he incorrectly claims that it took the iPhone three years to reach similar international coverage; it covered more with the 2008 release of the iPhone 3G.
Jha also teases the possibility of an Android tablet from Motorola and the possibility that Motorola will sell phones directly through the same Google online store that offers the Nexus One. For the former, though, he warns that Motorola won't be "jumping on the bandwagon" as it has to find a circumstance in which a tablet would be more useful than a smartphone.