Motorola to Launch New Razr Phone With Foldable Display

Lenovo-owned Motorola is bringing back the iconic Razr flip phone as a 6.2-inch smartphone with a foldable display. The phone, which is priced at $1,499 and will be available in December for pre-order in the U.S. as a Verizon exclusive and in Europe, looks like a modern version of the phone originally launched in late 2004. The first Razr sold 130 million units and was a cultural touchstone before Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. Currently, Lenovo only owns a small fraction of the global smartphone market. Continue reading Motorola to Launch New Razr Phone With Foldable Display

Google Inks $1.1B Deal with HTC to Design, Produce Hardware

Google is stepping up its competition with Apple in the smartphone market. The company inked a $1.1 billion deal with Taiwan-based HTC, which added more than 2,000 smartphone specialists. Google will now be able to design more of its own hardware and may position itself to manufacture more custom silicon chips. Up until now, Google has focused on software, and purchased hardware from Samsung Electronics and HTC. Newly added HTC staff will help Google control more of the design and production. Continue reading Google Inks $1.1B Deal with HTC to Design, Produce Hardware

Google to Acquire Part of HTC Mobile Division for $1.1 Billion

Google will spend $1.1 billion to purchase part of HTC’s smartphone operations. The Internet giant plans to use HTC’s engineering and design teams to help ramp up its nascent hardware efforts to complement its expanding portfolio of software products and grow its revenue beyond Android and search ads. The deal, which is expected to bring about 2,000 HTC employees to Google, also includes a non-exclusive licensing agreement for HTC intellectual property. While HTC has shown growth potential in VR with its Vive headset, its mobile business has been struggling. Continue reading Google to Acquire Part of HTC Mobile Division for $1.1 Billion

Lenovo Introduces Project Tango Smartphone, Modular Moto Z

Chinese company Lenovo just introduced two new smartphones: Phab 2 Pro, based on Google’s Project Tango, which measures and maps surrounding objects and spaces, and Moto Z handsets that feature interchangeable, snap-on modules. The Moto Z handsets, which come out of Lenovo’s 2014 purchase of Motorola Mobility, already offer three “Moto Mods” – an extra speaker, a projector for presentations and an expanded internal battery. The company will make a reference kit available for developers to build other Moto Mods. Continue reading Lenovo Introduces Project Tango Smartphone, Modular Moto Z

Motorola Provides New Context to Comments Made at CES

During CES in Las Vegas, Motorola Mobility chief operating officer Rick Osterloh suggested that Lenovo has plans to phase out the Motorola brand. In the wake of news media and analyst confusion resulting from Osterloh’s comments, the company issued a statement to provide clarification, noting that the Motorola name or organization is not being dismantled, but is instead looking to “evolve” under parent company Lenovo. As part of that initiative, the company is looking to “streamline” its products under two brands — Moto and Vibe. Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Continue reading Motorola Provides New Context to Comments Made at CES

Microsoft Unveils New Devices with Emphasis on Windows 10

During a product unveiling in New York last week, Microsoft introduced new devices including a Surface Book laptop, the company’s latest Surface Pro tablet, big-screen Lumia smartphones that plug into displays for PC capabilities, and a $249 wearable fitness band. The press event also showcased Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset. While a focus on CE devices represents a shift for the software giant, hardware serves an integral role in a new corporate strategy that revolves around the Windows 10 operating system, designed to run on a variety of different devices. Continue reading Microsoft Unveils New Devices with Emphasis on Windows 10

Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost global market share for the first time in four years, falling to 31.2 percent of the market. Samsung’s profit margin on smartphones remained at the same 19.8 percent from last year, but the rising costs of smartphone component parts will make it difficult to maintain the same profits. Meanwhile, Apple’s market shares are also slipping, as affordable alternatives from Lenovo and Huawei are on the rise in the smartphone market. Continue reading Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Moto X and Future Devices Will Likely Listen To Everything

Motorola’s Moto X smartphone is designed to feature voice command and other listening capabilities. This may mark a new way that mobile devices are becoming smarter, by listening to the environment and its owner, and responding appropriately based on context. Users may be able to record everything about their lives. The Moto X differs from previous phones in that it includes two low-power chips to process data from a microphone or other sensors. It does this without using the main processor or exhausting the battery. Continue reading Moto X and Future Devices Will Likely Listen To Everything

Moto X May Reveal Why Google Acquired Motorola Mobility

Motorola introduced its Android powered Moto X on Thursday, the first smartphone released by Motorola since Google acquired the company two years ago. The new handset features persistent notifications, user-customizable design components, instant photo-capture and hands-free authentication. The defining feature, however, is the integration of Google Now. “The Moto X is the first in a series of hardware products that Google hopes will supercharge the mother company’s software and services,” reports Wired. Continue reading Moto X May Reveal Why Google Acquired Motorola Mobility

Moto X Contextual Computing Closed to Third-Party Developers

Motorola Mobility says it will not initially allow third party developers to create applications that use the contextual computing capabilities of its new Moto X Android smartphone, which is a feature that makes the phone distinct from its competitors. According to analysts, the move is perceived as an example of how Motorola is protecting what it thinks is its competitive advantage. The company aims to have the Moto X do more, but more efficiently. Continue reading Moto X Contextual Computing Closed to Third-Party Developers

Motorola Mobility Report: More Video, but Viewers Frustrated

According to Motorola Mobility’s recently released Fourth Annual Media Engagement Barometer, consumers are watching a great deal of video on multiple screens, but are frustrated with the process. Time-shifting technology and mobile devices have led to a significant shift in global media consumption. The Engagement Barometer is an independent global study of video consumption habits among 9,500 consumers in 17 countries. Continue reading Motorola Mobility Report: More Video, but Viewers Frustrated

Will Samsung Hurt Google Mobile Ad Biz with Android Lead?

Samsung and Google continue to compete with Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market. Samsung’s influence is growing — the South Korean company now sells a total of 40 percent of all gadgets using Google’s Android software — and Google is worried that Samsung might flex its muscle to renegotiate its arrangement and adversely affect Google’s successful mobile-ad business. Continue reading Will Samsung Hurt Google Mobile Ad Biz with Android Lead?

Corvair: Is Motorola Poised to Launch an Android-Based TV Controller?

  • Motorola Mobility has been talking Android-based cable boxes for some time, and now images of a 6-inch Android 2.3 tablet codenamed “Corvair” have leaked.
  • Reportedly “designed for use in the living room,” the device is currently in testing with cable companies.
  • Based on the leaked images, features may include a custom version of Android, IR control, RF4CE (a ZigBee-based RF control protocol), and a high-capacity 4,000mAH battery.
  • According to The Verge: “…the box calls it a ‘dedicated controller,’ but it also seems to show the tablet wirelessly displaying its entire UI on the TV, so we’re guessing it can be used to watch and stream content in addition to serving as a remote control for one of Motorola’s cable boxes.”

The Real Motivation Behind the Motorola Mobility Acquisition

  • An intellectual property analyst makes the case that the reason Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion last month was not to provide patent protection for Android as most believe. It was to prevent Motorola Mobility from making one or more key moves that would have weakened Android’s patent situation even more.
  • For example, Motorola Mobility could have taken a patent license from Microsoft signaling a surrender that would have affected every other Android licensee.
  • It could have started work on a Windows Phone as a way to help it deal with a Microsoft infringement case, suggests the FOSS Patents blog. It also could have attacked other Android licensees to collect royalties.
  • And finally, it could have sold off its patent portfolio to one of Google’s competitors.

Marc Andreessen Believes Software Is Eating the World (A Good Thing)

  • “In an upbeat and highly insightful essay on technology and innovation, pioneer Marc Andreessen outlines the ‘dramatic and broad technological shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy…'” comments ETCentric staffer Bob Lambert with this submission.
  • Andreessen notes HP’s announcement that it is “exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software” and Google’s plans to “buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility” as recent surprises in the tech world, yet also examples of what makes the pioneer “optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies.”
  • Andreessen suggests that Apple and Google are undervalued and we should avoid using the term “bubble” when analyzing the value of technologies. He writes: “…too much of the debate is still around financial valuation, as opposed to the underlying intrinsic value of the best of Silicon Valley’s new companies.”
  • “Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not,” Andreessen adds.
  • Andreessen’s essay offers a compelling take on the direction of the tech industry, its place in world economies and some of the challenges that lie ahead. He notes interesting examples including Amazon, Netflix, Pixar, Pandora, Skype and others.
  • “Instead of constantly questioning their valuations, let’s seek to understand how the new generation of technology companies are doing what they do, what the broader consequences are for businesses and the economy and what we can collectively do to expand the number of innovative new software companies created in the U.S. and around the world,” he concludes. “That’s the big opportunity. I know where I’m putting my money.”

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