Motorola seriously changed the mobile phone industry in the 2000’s with the RAZR. The low-profile flip phone sold more than 110 million units, spawned several successful follow-up models and imitations from competitors, and generally altered how we perceive “sexiness” in mobile phones.
It has had an excellent run, and continues to sell to this day. According to Neilsen Media, the RAZR was the third most popular mobile phone on the market last year with 2.3 percent of mobile subscribers owning one.
Of course, following an executive shakeup and big changes in the consumer market (which included the 2007 introduction of Apple’s iPhone,) Motorola had a hard time delivering a follow-up to the RAZR and improving profits. The company made plans for a 2009 spinoff of its handset division which was ultimately reconsidered.
Enter Android. Motorola was one of the earliest supporters of Google’s now-famous open mobile operating system Android, and put its weight fully behind it in early 2008.
Instead of a spinoff, Motorola was primed to release a host of new devices running on Android in 2009.
In the ten months since launching the Cliq, Motorola’s first Android phone, the company has introduced seven smartphones utilizing the OS. The most popular of them thus far is the Droid/Milestone, which Motorola Chief Executive of Consumer Business and Mobile Devices Sanjay Jha said is selling “extremely well.”
Unfortunately, handsets are evolving so rapidly that a single year can turn the most cutting edge device into a dinosaur. Even though the Droid was the talk of the town when it was released, just one month later, Android phones moved into the Gigaherz speed class, and the 500MHz Droid was already outdated. It is a smartphone in the age of the so-called superphone.
With 1GHz phones like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, HTC Incredible and EVO 4G all in the market now, and the 1.5GHz HTC Scorpion rumored to be on the way, Motorola is reportedly prepping its entry into the superphone category.
At a presentation at The Global Leaders Luncheon of the Executives Club of Chicago this week, Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha said the company plans to release a superphone with a 2GHz processor by the end of this year.
Jha, however, did not provide specific details about the device in his speech. Some are reporting that the chip powering the device will be “an evolutionary step above the current 1GHz Snapdragon chip.”
With mobile devices that powerful, Jha said it will only be a few years before corporations can issue workers smartphones instead of more traditional workstations.