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1/28/2010
03:45 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Motorola Working On Google Nexus Phone?

Today Motorola confirmed that it is working on a new Android phone that it plans to sell directly to consumers through Google. Will its unnamed device be the Nexus Two? Perhaps.

Today Motorola confirmed that it is working on a new Android phone that it plans to sell directly to consumers through Google. Will its unnamed device be the Nexus Two? Perhaps.There's zero surprise in learning that Motorola plans to offer an Android phone directly to consumers through the new sales model Google is attempting to carve out with is Nexus line of Android devices. Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha said as much during the company's fourth quarter earnings call today, "We plan to launch ... at least one direct-to-consumer device with Google."

Jha didn't say anything more about that specific device. It may be called the Nexus Two, or some other Nexus-branded equivalent. Jha had a lot of other interesting things to say about its device portfolio for 2010. Here's the full transcription from Seeking Alpha:

As we head into 2010, I think of our portfolio across three market segments; smartphones, feature phones, and voice-centric low-end phones. First, in smartphones, we plan to launch at least 20 devices ... We expect to ship between 11 million to 14 million smartphones over the course of the year, with smartphones accounting for over 50% of our total sales this year.

In feature phone, in the mid-to-high tier, we expect our legacy portfolio to meaningfully decline throughout the year as consumers migrate to smartphones. Finally, in voice-centric low-end phones for emerging marketplaces largely, our focus will be to build brand awareness and meet customer needs for products at multiple price points. We will utilize an ODM model for these devices and expect the unit volumes to ramp throughout the year.

Motorola had previously confirmed that it was going to target about 20 new smartphones for 2010, with most of them (if not all) running Google's Android operating system. We've already seen one, the Backflip that's headed to AT&T later this quarter. I expect Motorola to unveil about two Android phones per month for the rest of the year.

Jha also talked up its MOTOBLUR social networking service. He said:

Some of our plans for MOTOBLUR include enhancements to address the prosumer segment of the market. These are users who pay for their own devices and use it for both of their personal and work lives. By expanding MOTOBLUR to offer additional security and device management functionality, we will address the need of this part of the market. We also plan to broaden the scope of MOTOBLUR by doing to multimedia what we did to social messaging by enabling users to share music, photos and other content in an interactive and dynamic way.
This is all good news. Motorola needs to make some changes to its social networking software. In particular, I am interested in seeing tweaks to how it manages Twitter follower lists in the contact database. Also, creating its own media-syncing software (or partnering with an outside developer) would be a great help to those Android owners looking to more easily transfer media back and forth on their device.

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