updated 02:55 pm EST, Mon February 28, 2011
Motorola backs 7in tablet talk, to expand Webtop
Motorola chief Sanjay Jha in a presentation at Morgan Stanley's Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference this morning detailed some of the company's plans to expand its tablets and its smartphones. He reiterated intentions to put out a seven-inch Android tablet before the end of 2011 but saw it as targeting a different market. The smaller size would be "fun," he said, where a 10-inch tablet like the Xoom was now being skewed more towards high-end users.
He wouldn't be drawn into providing sales numbers for the Xoom launch but conditionally said that the $800 3G version, $600 on contract, was selling "relatively well." Pricing on the Xoom and its competitors was likely to drop later in the year.
During the same presentation, he added that the Webtop windowed interface from the Atrix 4G would have much more of a presence starting in June. All of its high-end phones from that point would have the feature, Jha explained. The Droid Bionic for Verizon wasn't getting the dock-only interface only because it wasn't ready for the phone's schedule, despite it shipping weeks or months later.
A seven-inch tablet remains a gamble in the current market. Samsung has had a modest amount of success with its Galaxy Tab, but even the Korean company has been expanding up to 10 inches through the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and has effectively orphaned the smaller model without a sequel in sight. The smaller frames will now have the option of a real optimized tablet OS with 3.0 but have so far had a tougher time undercutting larger iPads in price.