Motorola CEO talks smartphones, tablets and 4G; alludes to Q1 Verizon iPhone launch

Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha delivered a keynote yesterday at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, and it was quite a doozy. Topics covered included the future of Motorola’s smartphone business, tablets, 4G and even a new competitive threat coming soon to Verizon Wireless. Here are some highlights:

  • Motorola Mobility will separate from Motorola Solutions with $3.5 billion, no debt, no pension liabilities and 16,500 patents already in its portfolio. In other words, Jha is very excited about the future of Motorola’s mobile business.
  • Motorola Mobility will definitely participate in the tablet space, but it will continue to focus the bulk of its efforts on smartphones. The company will release both 7-inch and 10-inch tablets in the near future, and it views both product ranges as being “quite meaningful.”
  • Motorola will focus on software differentiation with its tablets, targeting the enterprise, international and retail market places. Jha views retail as a big opportunity for tablets.
  • Where smartphones are concerned, Motorola will continue to focus on top-tier and mid-tier devices — mid-tier devices have sold in greater volume internationally, while top-tier phones found success in the U.S.
  • When asked about 4G smartphones, Jha responded, “I will have 4G devices in the marketplace early next year.”
  • In discussing Q1 2011 guidance, Jha said first quarters are always down for Motorola and Q1 2011 will be no different. Jha also said, however, that there will potentially be a new “competitive dynamic” developing at Verizon Wireless — Motorola’s premier carrier partner in the U.S. — in the first quarter next year that could have a significant negative impact on Motorola’s first quarter. It certainly doesn’t take a decoder ring to figure out that he’s talking about the Verizon iPhone.
  • Despite the aforementioned speed bump, which could no doubt be huge, Jha is confident that Motorola Mobility will deliver profitability for the full year as it continues to diversify its product portfolio to combat the threat of a potential Verizon iPhone.

Hit the read link to listen to Jha’s complete keynote.

Thanks, ckeegan

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