SPECULATION is growing that Motorola has won fresh backing from Google and is set to mount a comeback in the next few months, as it readies plans to announce its next flagship handset.
The handset manufacturer has been holding secret briefings with operators and retailers about its planned devices and appears to be gaining credibility.
O2 CEO Ronan Dunne singled out the phone maker’s roadmap as one of the highlights of Mobile World Congress last week, even though its public presence at the show was low key.
Dunne said of the behind the scenes meetings between the two companies: ‘Some of the things Motorola showed us it is doing are rather exciting.’
Motorola’s UK general manager Andrew Morley said: ‘We are working on some really cool stuff – something we believe is really, really cool.’ After recently returning from a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, Morely (pictured) told Mobile: ‘I have been at Motorola for six years and in all that time I have never felt as excited
as I do now.’
One of the devices in the pipeline is believed to be the long-rumoured X-Phone, which would run the latest version of parent Google’s Android operating system, Key Lime Pie. Motorola has also been tipped to launch an X-Tablet along with the X-Phone, with both products expected to launch at Google’s Innovation in the Open (I/O) developer-focused conference in May.
Speculation has been building since Google posted a job listing a ‘senior director of product management [for] X-Phone’, which offered the chance to work on a ‘next generation smartphone platform’. The ad was later removed.
Google has bemoaned the product roadmap it was left with following the completion of its $12.5bn takeover of Motorola in May 2012. Chief financial officer Patrick Pichette told analysts in January this year that it had a 12 to 18-month period post takeover to clear before it could focus on new devices. He said: ‘It does take time before it shows up.’
Author: Carol Millett