Motorola, Verizon Partner on Android Smartphone for Business UsersBy Reuters | Print
Shooting right for RIM's BlackBerry market, Verizon and Motorola announced they will offer a line of Android-based smartphones for business users that feature a fixed keyboard and a 3.1-inch touchscreen.
(Reuters) - Motorola Inc said on Tuesday Verizon Wireless would sell the Droid Pro, the mobile phone maker's first device for business customers based on Google Inc's popular Android operating system.
Boasting push email with corporate-level security among the phone's features, Motorola is aiming squarely at the market dominated by Research In Motion's Blackberry, which is also sold at Verizon Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. mobile operator.
Verizon's heavy promotion of Motorola's first two Droid phones the Droid and the Droid X, has helped Motorola revitalize its ailing phone business since late last year.
Motorola said the new device supports Adobe Systems' Flash software and has Wi-Fi short-range wireless connections that can be used in areas of spotty cellular network coverage.
The Droid Pro features a fixed a keyboard bar as well as a 3.1-inch touchscreen display. Motorola did not reveal pricing. The Droid Pro will be available in early November through the mobile venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone.
Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha said BlackBerry users are eager to switch to a device that offers more functionality. He said that most people buy a smartphone themselves, but want access to their company email, something he called the "consumerization of the enterprise."
"Consumers like certain phones, but they just want those enterprise features," Jha said in an interview on Tuesday ahead of the CTIA trade show in San Francisco. CTIA-The Wireless Association, an international trade group, represents all wireless communication sectors.
When asked about the holiday season, Jha said: "We have experienced a very modest slowdown ... this recovery wasn't that strong anyways, but we haven't seen a tremendous waning in this recovery as far as our portfolio is concerned," he said.
Motorola plans to separate its phone and set-top box units from its wireless enterprise business in the first quarter.
Jha said the spinoff will probably take place in the early part of the first quarter.