Motorola, Inc. is ringing in the New Year at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with a resolution to design and deliver "wickedly cool and compelling" solutions that make anytime, anywhere and always-on entertainment and communication a personal reality for consumers.
The bar-style Motorola SLVR L7 will be the next phone to run Apple’s iTunes software, Motorola executive vice president Ron Garriques hinted lately at a press conference.
According to its official spec sheet, the slim SLVR has all sorts of options: push-to-talk capability, a TransFlash memory card slot, Bluetooth and Motorola’s SCREEN3 technology, which pushes news headlines to your phone’s idle screen. The L7 is already available outside the US, but those foreign L7 models do not include iTunes.
The fate of the Motorola/Apple relationship, which so far has produced only the ROKR E1 phone, was thrown into question when Motorola announced the ROKR E2, a Linux-based phone which lacks iTunes compatibility. Garriques hit back at critics with a classic Motorola trade-show feint: saying that yes, there would be another iTunes phone, briefly holding a black SLVR L7 up to his microphone in explanation, and immediately putting the phone away without further discussion. Motorola spokeswoman Monica Rohleder, would not confirm the L7 had iTunes on board.
Motorola also announced a partnership with Google that will lead to a "Google Key" appearing on all new Motorola phones later this year for easy mobile Web searching, Motorola CEO Ed Zander and Google CEO Eric Schmidt said jointly.
Google already has several mobile phone based services, including a Java-based local search and mapping application, a mobile Web search page and an SMS-based search system. But mobile Web adoption has been slowed for years by difficult interfaces and confusing, complicated data plan pricing. Zander said Motorola looks forward to working with mobile carriers on making Google searching easier, though no carrier was present at the press conference.
We did a simple analysis of where people are going to use information, and we concluded that it will be on these phone devices, Schmidt said. It is finally now possible to use these as your primary information device…people are going to use information anywhere they are.
Web searching will definitely be easy on Motorola’s long-awaited Q, its super-slim, keyboarded smart phone. Garriques said that the Q will appear in "8 to 12 weeks" and will have superior voice quality, as it uses the same folded-J antenna design as the RAZR and SLVR models. The speakerphone incorporates "punch-through" technology from Motorola’s iDen line of phones for Nextel, he said.
Across the board, we have absolutely hit this from a great phone-first perspective, Garriques said. The Q will also run on a high-speed data network and stream full-screen video clips on its 320×240 wide screen, he said.
Motorola also announced a partnership with Kodak–that was heavy on promise, but light on details.
Zander said the partnership will address mobile phone users’ needs to get their photos off of their phones, so it will likely involve printing. But many phones currently on the market have printing solutions, including PictBridge for printing directly from the handsets. They are not used much because they are not obvious or easy.
Motorola and Kodak will have to bring a new level of simplicity to camera phone printing to create a new market there.