updated 12:20 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010
Motorola's Jha talks 4G phones and Verizon iPhone
Motorola's co-CEO Sanjay Jha dropped strong hints of future plans, as well as those from Apple, at the Credit Suisse conference on Wednesday. The leader of the soon to be independent mobile firm confirmed that he was onboard with Verizon's LTE plans and would have smartphones and other devices "early next year." They weren't identified but may include a Verizon edition of the Olympus phone as well as the MotoPad, a seven-inch tablet.
Both seven- and 10-inch tablets were coming, Jha said, implying that the Stingray and MotoPad were different devices. Motorola Mobility would try to break away from competition like the iPad by catering to enterpise and retail as well as to more explicitly serve those outside of the US.
While confident about Motorola Mobility's prospects, with no debts and enough cash for a healthy start, Jha was publicly anxious about the prospect of a Verizon iPhone. He warned that there might be a new "competitive dynamic" at Verizon in early 2011 that would damage Motorola's business. He didn't clarify whether or not he had any advance knowledge from Verizon, although he may have also been acting on mounting expectations.
Jha's company would primarily steel itself against any Verizon iPhone by diversifying the range of smartphones it has and by continuing to focus on high-end phones in the US as well as mid-range phones in other countries. Success with phones like the Droid X have helped Motorola return to shipment increases after years of watching its numbers bleed.
Apple may be one of Motorola's larger dangers. Although it was responsible for popularizing Android through the original Droid, the company has often been seen as having a safety zone without Apple competing directly on the same network. Without an iPhone on Verizon, Motorola has received most of Verizon's marketing attention and has counted on some sales to buyers who wanted an iPhone-like experience but weren't willing to switch to AT&T. Analysts at UBS have anticipated that the iPhone might be more popular on Verizon than AT&T and could divide Verizon's attention as a result. [via BGR]