03:30 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Motorola CEO Talks Tablets, Hints At Verizon iPhone

Speaking at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said the company is working on 7-inch and 10-inch tablets.

Much of what Jha discussed during his recent keynote was related to Motorola's financial performance. If you're interested, Jha said that when Motorola splits into two companies in early 2011, Motorola Mobility will walk away with $3.5 billion in cash, no debt, and more than 16,500 patents to draw from. The company is taking pains to put its new handset company in the best position possible when it launches.

Jha also issued a warning about the company's performance during the first quarter of 2011. He said that Motorola typically has bad first quarters, and investors should expect a loss. But you're not interested in that.

What you really want to know is that Jha said Motorola is working on tablet devices, which will be available in the "near future." It's not working on one tablet form factor, but two. Motorola will field a 7-inch tablet and a 10-inch tablet, and Jha said that both will fill necessary product categories.

Jha believes tablets will be big sellers at the retail (not the enterprise) level. He didn't specifically say what platform its tablets would be running, but it is widely reported that Motorola's tablets will run a newer version of Google's Android.

Of course, Motorola will continue to invest in its smartphone business, and plans to bring more high-end and mid-range devices to market in the coming year. Jha even said that the company will have 4G devices available as soon as early 2011.

But the most interesting -- and cryptic -- part of Jha's comments arose when he said that there is going to be a new "competitive dynamic" developing over at Verizon Wireless that might negatively impact Motorola's first-quarter performance. Whatever could he mean? Was he referring to the arrival of LTE devices from Motorola's competitors? More HTC smartphones? The BlackBerry PlayBook? Maybe even the arrival of Windows Phone 7 devices? Perhaps Jha was referring to the fabled Verizon iPhone, which has been rumored to happen in early 2011.

Feel free to interpret Jha's comments however you like.

[Via BGR and Credit Suisse]

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